NASA’s CERTAIN Program Uses NextNav’s 3D Geolocation Technology (MBS) for Urban Drone Operations
NextNav’s 3D Location Service (MBS) Brings Accurate 3D Geolocation, Navigation and Timing to GPS-Challenged Areas
SUNNYVALE, CA – November 8, 2018 – NextNav, the pioneer in 3D geolocation services, today announced that its Metropolitan Beacon System (MBS) service has been accepted for use by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA will use NextNav’s MBS network as part of its CERTAIN (City Environment for Range Testing of Autonomous Integrated Navigation) facilities at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. CERTAIN supports, among other programs, Urban Air Mobility (UAM), an air transportation system with myriad applications from small package delivery drones to passenger-carrying air taxies.
NextNav’s MBS system facilitates urban drone operations where satellite-based GPS signals may not be available, and the need to reliably know a drone’s location horizontally and vertically is critical to ensure safe operations in urban air traffic corridors.
“NextNav’s MBS system provides us with new tools for the development of navigation systems in environments where GPS has traditionally been challenged,” said Evan Dill, Safety-Critical Avionics Systems Branch of NASA. “We’re looking forward to working with MBS as we develop new approaches to the operation of unmanned systems in urban environments.”
NextNav’s wide-area terrestrial positioning network ensures accurate and secure location services, which is critical for unmanned aircraft navigation. In addition, MBS complements and integrates seamlessly with GPS and provides a level of georedundancy ensuring a safe and efficient system for future air transportation in cities and urban areas.
“We are proud to work with NASA and integrate MBS into its urban drone operations,” said Ganesh Pattabiraman, co-founder and CEO of NextNav. “The MBS system is designed for secure, reliable and consistent 3D Geolocation capabilities which are important for autonomous systems such as drones. NASA’s acquisition of the MBS system is an exciting milestone for MBS technology and a great partnership with NASA to address the key challenges in urban drone navigation and make it possible to explore new opportunities in unmanned operations.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) believes that by 2022 there will be over 700,000 drones delivering packages, monitoring traffic and aiding in search and rescue operations.
NextNav's revolutionary Metropolitan Beacon System (MBS)-based services enable mobile phones, Autonomous Vehicles and IoT devices to reliably and at a low power determine their location and timing in indoor and urban metropolitan environments where GPS signals cannot be received. NextNav's 3D location services include accurate horizontal positioning, floor-level altitude precision and powerful context and visualization applications. Delivered over a managed network on nationwide licensed spectrum with carrier-grade dependability and metropolitan-wide coverage, NextNav's services are designed for public safety applications, E911, critical infrastructure, as well as the multitude of consumer, IoT and commercial applications that require reliable 3D geolocation indoors and urban areas or precise timing. For more information, visit NextNav.com or follow NextNav on LinkedIn.