The Enhanced Link Navigation System (ELNS) is designed to replace GPS navigation functions in highly contested environments. Developed by CTSi with partner L3 Technologies as part of a $8.7 million Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase III contract for the Navy, a prototype was recently built, and flight tested at the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport near Patuxent River, Md. ELNS uses L3 Technologies’ waveforms to overcome attempts to block GPS-based navigation systems, by means of waveforms that enable successful transmit and receive functions even in communications- and GPS-denied environments.
“Our team put ELNS in the air in less than 18 months,” said Ian Gallimore, CTSi chief technology officer (CTO). “It worked the first time and every time during 15 flights, which included 152 approaches,” The ELNS provided area navigation to replace GPS at ranges more than 50 nautical miles, and with the navigational capabilities to support successful landings.
“ELNS is scalable for unmanned aircraft in all Groups, from those needing high integrity like MQ-25, to small unmanned aircraft on tight weight budgets,” added Martin King, Navy project manager. “ELNS is the first system to bring GPS-denied navigation capability to small UAS. By combining significant investments in related fields to create a whole new capability like this, ELNS takes Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) for air vehicles in a compelling new direction.”