Merlin Position, Navigation and Time (PNT) devices measure their geographic position using opportunistically-received (non-satellite) common environmental signals. Their PNT performanceaccuracy is similar to GPS, but they also resist jamming and spoofing, operate deep indoors, and
experience very little reflection, building attenuation or other signal propagation disturbances.
Signals from the many high-power transmitters worldwide are superior to GPS for PNT service. They travel relatively short distances, penetrate structures and foliage, and have pervasive coverage. Because these broadcast signals already exist, Merlin requires little or no infrastructure of its own to operate, and it can be implemented rapidly at minimum manpower and cost.
Merlin Technologies in Los Angeles has built and demonstrated prototype PNT devices that achieve outdoor performance similar to that of GPS, and indoor performance far superior to that of every other technology including WiFi. Outdoor-indoor coverage is seamless.
The pervasive outdoor and deep-indoor reach of environmental signals, and the small sizes of today’s electronic devices, make Merlin’s indoor and outdoor PNT services possible today. Merlin PNT solutions can replace GPS with better reliability and performance in difficult environments, and superior resistance to jamming and spoofing.
Merlin’s advantages apply to both Military and Commercial uses. Military uses that will benefit from Merlin technology include positioning in man-carried devices, UAVs/drones, vehicles and weaponry. Positioning can be done using Merlin devices such as USB dongles, or by using ASICs embedded in existing government-issued products used by military personnel. In Commercial applications Merlin’s advantages include seamless outdoor and deep-indoor coverage worldwide. Yet another advantage – location based security – applies to both.
Embedding Merlin in Military and Consumer devices enables powerful location-based multifactor security and control features. Consumers can restrict device use to precisely-defined spaces indoors or out to, for example, prevent their cell phones from being used unless physically located at the owner’s home or business. Military operators can automatically prevent use of devices and weapons that have been removed from authorized locations.
Merlin’s successful prototype demonstrations have shown the utility of robust environmental signals for wide-area positioning, navigation, time and security services. In addition, they have shown that Merlin devices deliver PNT performance at least as good as satellite-based systems, but with the critical distinction that they work securely in even the most difficult environments.