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Precision Navigation and Timekeeping

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Precision Navigation and Timekeeping program seeks new and innovative navigation technologies that will provide accurate, reliable, maintainable and affordable systems for naval surface, subsurface, air and ground platforms and forces.

Research Concentration Areas

Precision navigation and timekeeping are essential for modern naval systems. The program is investigating:

  • GPS anti-jam: The global positioning system is the primary source of time and position for many civilian and military systems. Continued use of GPS in challenged environments is key to naval and DoD operations. ONR is developing innovative techniques and technologies that improve our current capability to acquire and utilize GPS in the presence of jamming.
  • Precision time and time transfer: Applications including geolocation, communication and distributed sensing all depend on the ability to faithfully exchange and maintain precise timing information. ONR is developing precise, compact clocks as well as time transfer methods for both RF and optical links to meet the timing needs of current and future naval systems.
  • Non-GPS navigation: When GPS is not available, DOD systems must be capable of precise navigation. Many non-GPS navigation modalities exist including other RF systems, celestial and geophysical referencing, and inertial navigation. ONR is developing new sensors and sensor fusion approaches with the aim of creating cost-efficient navigation solutions with mission-driven performance.

Research Challenges and Opportunities

  • High accuracy, high availability position fix approaches for surface, subsurface and air platforms
  • Robust inertial measurement unit (IMU) with ultra-low bias and scale factor drift in maritime-relevant footprint

  • Compact, deployable atomic clock with ~ns @ 1-day holdover

How to Submit

For detailed application and submission information for this research topic, please refer to our broad agency announcement (BAA) No. N00014-22-S-B001.

Contracts: All white papers and full proposals for contracts must be submitted through FedConnect; instructions are included in the BAA.

Grants: All white papers for grants must be submitted through FedConnect, and full proposals for grants must be submitted through; instructions are included in the BAA.


Willis, Tommy Dr.
Program Officer
Code 312