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NAVSOP deal with UK's BAE Systems will help drive LBS, IoT tech, says Malaysian SME

AvantiKumar | March 27, 2015
Loka Wireless CEO Manoj Narayanan said NAVSOP technology will help develop Location Based Services and IoT in Malaysia.

BAE Systems and LOKA 

Photo - (Front, from left) Manoj Narayanan, Chief Executive Officer of Loka Wireless; and John Brosnan, Managing Director, BAE Systems, South East Asia signing the software evaluation agreement.


Malaysian SME Loka Wireless will evaluate UK defence, aerospace and security firm BAE Systems' Navigation via Signals of Opportunity (NAVSOP) technology under an agreement signed during LIMA '15, the aerospace and maritime exhibition held in Langkawi last week.

Loka Wireless chief executive officer, Manoj Narayanan, said, "We are delighted that BAE Systems has given us the opportunity to evaluate this advanced technology. Loka Wireless already has a strong background in developing location based wireless communications systems and we believe NAVSOP fits perfectly into our plans to provide indoor location based M2M [machine to machine] and IoT [Internet of things] products."

Narayanan said unlike GPS, which uses satellite signals, NAVSOP is an advanced positioning system that uses existing transmissions such as Wi-Fi, TV, radio and mobile phone signals to calculate a user's position to within a few metres.

Unlike GPS, NAVSOP was also able to calculate locations in areas such as indoor spaces and urban canyons, he said. "As a fast-moving Malaysian SME, we are looking to grow our portfolio of high technology products, as well as supporting the Economic Transformation Plan through the creation of jobs and new technologies."

Narayanan added that Loka Wireless currently developed M2M and IoT wireless communications systems but was interested in using NAVSOP to enhance Location Based Services (LBS) and location-based IoT.

Examples of IoT applications using NAVSOP include Location Aware Wearables, Location Aware Robotic Navigation, real-time location and monitoring systems at Ports, Mines, and O&G platforms. 

NAVSOP more robust

John Brosnan, managing director, BAE Systems, South East Asia, said: "Our agreement with Loka Wireless is a perfect example of how BAE Systems is looking at sustainable innovation in high technology sectors of the Malaysian economy. [Loka Wireless will be able} evaluate the performance of this exciting NAVSOP technology, while giving them the opportunity to see what the next steps might be for the technology in Malaysia."

Brosnan said as NAVSOP used a wide range of signals, the technology was resistant to hostile interference such as jamming (a particular weakness of GPS) and spoofing, where a bogus signal tricks a device into misidentifying its location.

The new system can learn from signals that are initially unidentified to build an ever more accurate and reliable fix on its location.  Even the signals from GPS jammers can be exploited by the device to aid navigation under certain conditions, he said.

The real beauty of NAVSOP was that the infrastructure required to make it work is already in place, he said. "There is no need to build costly networks of transmitters and the hardware behind the system is already commercially available. Another benefit is that it can be integrated into existing positioning devices to provide superior performance to GPS."

From aiding soldiers operating in remote or dense urban areas to providing improved security for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), which could face attempts to disrupt their guidance systems, NAVSOP has a wide range of potential military and commercial applications.


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