EU Looks to Optimise for Greater Strategic Autonomy


On 22 April the European Defence Agency (EDA) announced the implementation of OPTIMISE, a project led by Spanish company Skylife Engineering but involving nine participants; three from Spain, four from France and one each from Italy and Slokavia.

OPTIMISE (innOvative PosiTIoning systeM for defence In gnSs-denied arEas) was selected to receive around $1.8 million (€1.5 million) in funding as part of the European Union’s Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR). Within this it will contribute research into “Future Disruptive Defence Technologies – Emerging Game-changers’. Its focus will be on ‘Autonomous Positioning, Navigation and Timing’ (PNT). The project is set to run for two years.

According to the EDA, the project will “propose a PNT ‘toolbox’, offering a set of emerging technologies – or a smart combination of disruptive technologies, as well as a backbone software architecture to integrate them. This will pave the way to more PNT technology integration into defence programmes, at different timescale, from short to long term, depending on the technology maturity.”

The aim is to deliver navigation architecture which will allow greater strategic autonomy to the EU making its members less dependent on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). It will also be ITAR free.

PNT is a critical factor when combination with map data and other information (weather or traffic data, for instance) in delivering today’s modern navigation system better known as the Global Positioning System (GPS).

by Andrew Drwiega