The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a contract to Argon ST for the next phase of its robust surface navigation (RSN) programme.

The programme is expected to enable US military operations to have GPS-level navigation functions in GPS-denied areas using radio frequency signals of opportunity.

The initial phase 2A base contract worth about $6.5m was awarded after the successful completion of phase 1 of the RSN programme.

DARPA has also provided the leading systems engineering, development and services company Argon with options for phase 2B and 2C.

Argon ST president and chief operating officer Kerry Rowe said that in today’s technology-laden combat arenas developing alternate technologies to GPS for precision positioning and navigation was of critical importance.

DARPA had initially selected Argon in 2008 to develop innovative algorithms to reduce signal errors and blockage in urban canyons and indoor environments.