ANT Center

Research Activities

Over the past few decades, a number of trends within the Department of Defense have created a pressing need for defense focused precision navigation. Weapons systems have moved from single, stand-alone systems to multiple interdependent vehicles working together for mission success. Along with that, the size of targets continues to get smaller and smaller, which increases the need for better accuracy in targeting. Ultimately, the result is that precision navigation is no longer just “nice to have” but a structural component to achieving the mission of the United States Air Force to “fly, fight, and win...Airpower anytime, anywhere.” The Autonomy and Navigation Technology (ANT) Center is working hard to make sure the need for precision navigation is met. Some examples of the research activities happening within the ANT Center are listed below.

  • Advanced Target Tracking
  • Airborne Application of Gravity Gradiometry for Navigation
  • Alternative Navigation Techniques for GPS-Denied Environments
  • Autonomous Indoor Micro Air Vehicles
  • Autonomous Munitions
  • Biologically Motivated Autonomous Navigation and Cooperative Control
  • Cognitive Networks
  • Communication Systems
  • Conceptual Design and Engineering Analysis of MAVs
  • Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) Software Receiver Research
  • GPS-Based 3D Navigation Visualization for Low Nighttime Parachuting
  • High Accuracy Time-Space-Position-Information (TSPI) Systems
  • Hybrid Communication Networks
  • Image-Aided Aerial Refueling for UAVs
  • Image-Aided Inertial Navigation
  • Intelligent Navigation and Sensing for Cooperative Robotics
  • Lunar Navigation
  • Multiple UAV Cooperative Operations
  • Multiple Vehicle Mapping and Target Localization
  • Navigation Using Signals of Opportunity
  • Non-GPS Navigation Using Radio-Based Ranging Coupled with other Sensors
  • Non-GPS Sensor Fusion for Precision Navigation
  • Optical IMU Aiding
  • Pseudolite Navigation Systems
  • Pulsar X-Ray Signals for GPS Satellite Orbit and Clock Estimation Improvement
  • Radio Frequency-Electronic Warfare Systems
  • Radio Frequency Geolocation Systems
  • Real-Time Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems INS/GPS Integration for Head Tracking
  • Semi-Autonomous Vehicle Systems for Detection of Improvised Explosive Devices
  • Software-Defined Radios
  • Sub-Surface Navigation
  • Synchronized Image-Inertial Data Collection and Processing Systems for Geolocation
  • Systems Engineering for the Urgent Needs of the Warfighter
  • Two-Way Time Transfer Measurements for Navigation



Current Projects




Automated Aerial Inspection

Developing prototype automated drone for visual inspection of Air Force aircraft


Reinforcement Learning

Developing deep-reinforcement learning algorithms for controlling aircraft and satellites


GPS Denied


Multi-sensor Navigation Integrity

Developing capability to demonstrate integrity for any set of sensor combinations



MaVAN: Magnetic and Vision Alt Nav

Development and demonstration of magnetic-anomaly navigation combined with relative and absolute vision methods




High Fidelity GNSS Front-Ends for Signal Monitoring

Design, fabrication, assembly and test of high-fidelity RF front-end hardware for various GNSS R&D projects.
> 100 MHz bandwidth, >100 dB dynamic range



GNSS Integrity using Machine Learning

Use PRN code signal deformations known as chip-shape combined with machine learning for GNSS integrity. Signal deformations are unique to each satellite


Research Sponsors



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Air Force Institute of Technology
2950 Hobson Way
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433-7765
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