A Closer look at last year's Trial

The Canadian Army purchased five of the GAJT-AE-N units with Controlled Reception Pattern Antennas (CRPAs) to test on the Howitzer. The GAJT-AE-N, designed for smaller platforms with more integrated requirements, uses a four-element CRPA and can null simultaneously in three directions on both GPS L1 and L2 frequencies.

GAJT 6For the trial, the team mounted two GAJT-AE-N units on the gun. The first was hard mounted in an experimental housing designed by the Canadian Army, and placed so it would experience the maximum shock and vibration. The second was shock mounted underneath the carriage in the belly pan that contains the sensitive communications and computation equipment. A third GAJT-AE-N was placed on the ground under the muzzle to experience the effect of the overpressure when the gun was fired. The M777C1 used was from “A” Battery, 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery.

“The aim was to assess mechanical and functional survivability,” Soar said. “They were firing at the maximum charge. All three of the GAJTs survived, continued tracking during the fire missions and were in perfect working order after 25 rounds. Basically, we had 100 percent success on the trial. We are grateful to the Canadian Army for their assistance, especially the trials team and to the Officers and Soldiers of “A” Battery Royal Canadian Horse Artillery who were helpful and tolerant, as well as interested in the capability that GAJT could deliver to the Army.”

GAJT is designed to work with any GPS receiver, either civilian or military, so there was no need to replace the GPS receivers already installed before testing. The Defense Advanced GPS Receiver (DAGR) is typically used in military operations, as was the case for these trials. GAJT has been tested many times with DAGR and is easy to integrate. 

The GAJT BCIP trials are now complete, and NovAtel is marketing GAJT-AE-N as well as supporting users who have already integrated the technology into Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for operations where GPS jamming is an issue.

Participation in the trial does not mean the Canadian Army intends to purchase and field GAJT, but if a requirement does emerge, NovAtel would certainly offer GAJT. The Canadian Army also has benefitted from the trial and has a better understanding of what this type of anti-jamming technology can mean for future operations. The trial demonstrated how GAJT can benefit the military and has generated interest from systems integrators in Canada and among Allies.

The First Test

The Canadian Army, also with the support of BCIP, first tested NovAtel’s GAJT antijamming capability in 2014. In that case, the GAJT-700ML was tested on a Light Armoured Vehicle III Observation Post Vehicle (LAV III OPV) of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in operational conditions. The product that emerged from that development is the GAJT-710ML. It has seven antenna elements, so it can make nulls in six directions, and is in a form and size that fits standard armoured or light vehicles Everything fits in one box that is designed for easy retrofitting.

The LAV III OPV was chosen for the trial based on its needs for precise Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) in its role of target acquisition for Artillery, other Indirect Fires and for Close Air Support. GAJT protected the vehicle’s PNT systems during the trial, even during GPS jamming. The equipment operated on the same level of precision and functionality with GAJT as it
does with the standard GPS antenna.

“The Canadian Army requires accurate, secure and reliable access to Global Positioning Systems to conduct operations throughout the full spectrum of conf lict in all potential theatres of operation,” Colonel Andrew Jayne, Director Land Requirements, said in 2014. “With the ever-increasing demands on the electromagnetic spectrum and threat of
harmful interference, technologies which contribute to the assurance of position and timing information are a critical enabler of Army and Canadian Armed Forces operations in today and tomorrow’s operating environment.”