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Alternative Navigation Systems

Alternative Navigation Systems

Honeywell is proud to introduce a multitude of alternative navigation offerings (e.g., vision, radar) to aid and augment availability, integrity, and performance of inertial navigation solutions to combat GPS disruptions. 

Why We Need Alternatives to GNSS

Position and timing signals from global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) such as GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and Beidou have become the primary source of navigation for vehicles on land, water, and air.

Over the past decade, applications using GNSS have seen a dramatic increase in intentional and unintentional disruptions to these critical signals. Intentional disruptions, such as GNSS jamming and spoofing, have increased in recent years especially in military applications. Unintentional disruptions, on the other hand, can be due to multi-path errors and are very common in urban environments. These disruptions can last from a few seconds to several hours. Hence, it is imperative to understand and partner with our customers to engineer alternatives to GNSS based navigation to improve performance in civilian and military applications.

Going Beyond Inertial Navigation

One of the traditional alternatives to GNSS-based navigation is inertial navigation. Inertial navigation is based on the principle of “dead reckoning” and utilizes inertial sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers to get position, velocity and heading.

Honeywell is a global leader in inertial navigation and offers an array of products for civilian (LASEREF, AHRS) and military (EGI, TALIN) applications. The advantage of inertial navigation is that it can work in all environments. The disadvantage is that errors can occur in inertial navigation and accumulate over time. If they’re not corrected, this can lead to large position and attitude errors. To correct these errors at regular intervals, we need GNSS signals. Therefore, inertial navigation is still dependent on GNSS and prolonged GNSS disruptions can make inertial navigation ineffective.

What is Alternative Navigation

With advancements in sensor technology and computational power, newer systems are being developed to reduce the dependency on GNSS for inertial navigation corrections. These are collectively called alternative navigation systems. These systems use sensors such as cameras, radars, lidars, radios and star trackers to augment and/or aid inertial navigation. The intent of these systems is to provide corrections to INS when GNSS signals are degraded or not available. 

Our Alternative Navigation Solutions


Honeywell’s Vision Aided Navigation system uses live camera feed (optical and/or IR) and compares it with maps to provide a passive un-jammable highly accurate absolute position. This was demonstrated on Embraer E170 and achieved a GPS like performance (i.e., horizontal position accuracy of 10m CEP50) during GPS denied conditions.


Honeywell’s Celestial Aided Navigation system utilizes star tracker to observe stars and Resident Space Objects (RSOs) to provide a passive un-jammable solution with GPS-like accuracy in GPS denied or spoofed conditions. This was recently demonstrated on a land vehicle and achieved an accuracy of 30m CEP50.


Honeywell’s Magnetic Anomaly Aided Navigation system measures earth’s magnetic strength and compares with magnetic maps to accurately identify the position of the vehicle. The technology was successfully demonstrated on Embraer E170 recently. 

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