|From Left: Manoj Narayanan, Chief Executive Officer of Loka Wireless, and John Brosnan, Managing Director, BAE Systems, South East Asia signing the software evaluation agreement.|
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – During LIMA ’15, the aerospace and maritime exhibition which was held in Langkawi last week, BAE Systems, the global defence, security and aerospace manufacturer, signed an agreement with an upcoming Malaysian SME. The agreement allows Loka Wireless Sdn Bhd to evaluate BAE Systems’ Navigation via Signals of Opportunity (NAVSOP) technology.
Unlike GPS, which uses satellite signals, NAVSOP is an advanced positioning system that exploits existing transmissions such as Wi-Fi, TV, radio and mobile phone signals to calculate the user’s location to within a few metres. The unique feature of NAVSOP is that it is able to calculate a location in areas such as indoor spaces and urban canyons where GPS is unable to provide an accurate location.
With the emergence of Location Based Services (LBS) and location based Internet of Things, (IoT), accurate indoor positioning has become ever more important and NAVSOP is expected to be a key enabler for such applications. Examples of IoT applications using NAVSOP include Location Aware Wearables, Location Aware Robotic Navigation, real-time location & monitoring systems at Ports, Mines, and O&G platforms.
Loka Wireless, based in Kuala Lumpur, is a Malaysian systems developer, which currently develops and markets Machine to Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things wireless communications systems. Under the terms of the agreement Loka Wireless will evaluate the NAVSOP technology, with a view to potential further development in Malaysia.
Manoj Narayanan, Chief Executive Officer of Loka Wireless, commented: “We are delighted that BAE Systems has given us the opportunity to evaluate this advanced technology. Loka Wireless already has a strong background in developing location based wireless communications systems and we believe NAVSOP fits perfectly into our plans to provide indoor location based M2M & IoT products. As a fast-moving Malaysian SME, we are looking to grow our portfolio of high technology products, as well as supporting the Economic Transformation Plan through the creation of jobs and new technologies.”
John Brosnan, Managing Director, BAE Systems, South East Asia, added: “We are delighted to be working closely with Loka Wireless, allowing them to evaluate the performance of this exciting NAVSOP technology, whilst giving them the opportunity to see what the next steps might be for the technology in Malaysia. Our agreement with Loka Wireless is a perfect example of how BAE Systems is looking at sustainable innovation in high technology sectors of the Malaysian economy.”
By exploiting such a wide range of signals, NAVSOP is resistant to hostile interference such as jamming (a particular weakness of GPS) and spoofing, where a bogus signal tricks a device into misidentifying its location. The new system can learn from signals that are initially unidentified to build an ever more accurate and reliable fix on its location. Even the signals from GPS jammers can be exploited by the device to aid navigation under certain conditions.
The real beauty of NAVSOP is that the infrastructure required to make it work is already in place. There is no need to build costly networks of transmitters and the hardware behind the system is already commercially available. Another benefit is that it can be integrated into existing positioning devices to provide superior performance to GPS.
A major advantage of the system is its ability to function in places where GPS is unable to reach, such as dense urban areas and deep inside buildings. It is also able to work in the most remote parts of the world, such as the Arctic, by picking up signals that include Low-Earth-Orbit satellites and other civilian signals.
From aiding soldiers operating in remote or dense urban areas to providing improved security for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), which could face attempts to disrupt their guidance systems, NAVSOP has a wide range of potential military and commercial applications.