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News Release


Release No: 336-95
June 20, 1995


The Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) and Army Missile Command (MICOM) today announced the successful completion of a joint field demonstration of an advanced navigation set on a Fire Support Team Vehicle (FISTV). FISTV operators from the Fort Sill Artillery School, Fort Sill, Okla., conducted the demonstration on the Army Test and Evaluation Command Laser Test Range, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala., with the support of MICOM and contractor personnel. Tests were conducted June 10-12, 1995.

For the tests, the FISTV was equipped with ARPA's Phase One Global Positioning System (GPS) Guidance Package, known as the GGP. The advanced navigation capabilities of the GGP provided the FISTV with more timely vehicle geolocation and laser designator pointing (azimuth and elevation) data than is available with the current FISTV geolocation/guidance equipment, enabling the FISTV to better accomplish its mission of locating and designating enemy targets.

During the tests, the performance of the GGP-equipped FISTV was compared with that of a second vehicle equipped with the current North Seeking Gyroscope (NSG) and a Precise Location GPS Receiver (PLGR). The GGP demonstrated faster gyroscope settling time, response and target location times.

Target engagements using GGP were completed seven minutes faster than engagements using the NSG/PLGR. This gave the GGP-equipped FISTV system a three-to-one advantage in number of targets acquired over the conventional FISTV. In addition, GGP provided greater stability of measurement accuracy over continuous, extended periods of operation.

The GGP also demonstrated better FISTV geolocation accuracy, more accurate azimuth and elevation measurements, and better target location accuracy. For example, azimuth pointing measurements by GGP were 10 times more accurate than those provided by the NSG. Elevation pointing by GGP was approximately twice as accurate as those by the NSG. Finally, GGP demonstrated accurate navigation (less than three meters error) of the FISTV over a 10 kilometer course on the MICOM range.

The GGP navigates either by receiving signals from GPS satellites, or by using its miniature inertial navigation system (INS), or both GPS and INS in a tightly coupled, integrated navigation mode. The integrated GPS/INS is intended for use on highly dynamic platforms like missiles and aircraft. The recent test on the FISTV shows its application for ground vehicles where improved accuracy as well as reduced operations and maintenance costs are expected.

ARPA's GGP program manager, Maj. Beth M. Kaspar, said, "The test conditions on the range were unexpectedly harsh. The equipment successfully operated at ambient temperatures in excess of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and at average integrated vibration levels in excess of three Gs. This environment is consistent with combat vehicles running over rough terrain in a warm climate."

The GGP was developed by Litton Industries, Woodland Hills, Calif., and Rockwell International, Collins Avionics and Communications Division, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, under ARPA sponsorship. The program will shortly begin its second phase during which the performance will be increased and size, weight and power will be significantly reduced.

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