Transportation Department doubles down on securing GPS tech

The investments follow an RFI issued last year.
(Getty Images)

The Transportation Department is doubling down on GPS technology, announcing a series of new investments last week that are meant to help boost the reliability of positioning, navigation and timing services.  

Companies focused on terrestrial radio frequency, map matching, time over fiber, and low-Earth orbit technologies were awarded contracts — which totaled more than $7.2 million — following a DOT request for information last year to identify alternatives to GPS technologies.

The awardees include NAL Research, Parsons, Hoptroff, Inc., Microchip, Safran, Locata, NextNav, Carahsoft, and TERN AI. 

“DOT is impressed with the quality of the proposal responses and received more proposals than could be funded under Simplified Acquisition Procedure guidelines,” Robert C. Hampshire, the agency’s chief science officer, said in a statement. “DOT intends to move expeditiously to issue a Complementary PNT Rapid Phase II solicitation to expand the set of Complementary PNT technologies to be evaluated.”


In a 2020 executive order, the agency was instructed to take steps to improve the nation’s positioning, navigation, and timing services, which rely on a bevy of satellite infrastructure currently in Earth’s orbit. PNT services support the Global Positioning System, which is susceptible to both unintentional interruptions and attacks, like GPS spoofing.

Last September, the Transportation Department released an action plan focused on PNT technologies. With the announcement of these PNT contracts, the department is now furthering that goal. 

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