GPS Test Director to Join Locata - 14/09/2012
U.S. Air Force (USAF) veteran Paul Benshoof, formerly chief of Strategic Development at the 746th Test Squadron (746TS) at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, USA, has joined Locata as global business development manager for military and government applications in the U.S. and abroad. This team expansion primes the company to meet growing global demand for GPS backup for government, civilian and commercial infrastructure. Benshoof, who witnessed the success of Locata’s precision positioning in GPS-denied environments during USAF LocataNet development at White Sands Missile Range, will set up and execute the company’s worldwide defence sales initiatives.
Benshoof began his 22 years in GPS as the project manager responsible for the development and procurement of the PLGR – the DoD’s first secure handheld GPS receiver, manufactured by Rockwell Collins. He then devoted his technical prowess to developing navigation warfare (NAVWAR) test assets to support advanced technology demonstrations in GPS-denied environments, as well as supervising international test programs for NATO and allied forces. As GPS testing became increasingly important, he formed and directed the GPS Test Center of Expertise, a consortium of U.S. test agencies dedicated to GPS test and evaluation, while also chairing an international working group that helped standardise GPS test practices among 11 participating countries. Ultimately, he was selected to implement and lead the 746th Test Squadron’s Strategic Development activity that worked with commercial and military GPS industry to project guidance, navigation and NAVWAR testing shortfalls, and then managed developmental programs to fill technical capability gaps.
Near universal reliance on GPS for a broad range of critical positioning and navigation requirements in military, civilian government and commercial applications – despite the fact that GPS signals are frequently blocked, jammed, spoofed or unavailable – is driving increasing demand for an alternative positioning solution. Locata’s terrestrial technology is the first and only system to locally replicate GPS precise positioning on the ground. Locata is the 'backup to GPS' across any area where satellite-based signals aren’t reliable. Many modern applications (such as machine automation, military operations in GPS jammed areas, and all manner of positioning across campuses, ports, downtown “urban canyons,” open-cut mines, warehouses, malls and more) have far outstripped the original design parameters of the GPS satellite constellation. The ability to provide a backup to GPS is therefore now recognised as an essential national requirement for future mobile, industrial, transportation, homeland security and other critical infrastructure applications, as clearly laid out in the 2010 Federal Radionavigation Plan and the U.S. President’s National Space Policy of the USA.
Real-world and simulated GPS drone hijacking (spoofing) and jamming events - and even just unreliable GPS satellite availability in many areas - has military, civilian and commercial officials across the globe demanding an alternative to the weak signals they must rely on from space-based GPS satellites. Locata networks have been developed to meet this critical need. Because they are deployed and controlled locally, Locata signals can blanket a given area outdoors and indoors, and can be made extremely resistant to jamming and spoofing.