Why PNT (Positioning, Navigation and Timing) is Key


In modern times, technology has become a part of every corner of our lives. From laptops, cell phones and tablets to internet-connected cars, cameras and personal fitness devices, the “Internet of Things” has created a real-life constantly-augmented reality. But when it comes to the details of the complex data that make our modern systems and gadgets tick, one of the most central elements is the concept of PNT, or “Positioning, Navigation and Timing.” 

What is PNT?

Positioning, of course, is the determination of a person, object or signal’s geographic location. Navigation is also a familiar concept, which allows for the calculation of a route from position A to position B. Finally, Timing ties the two elements together, allowing one to determine the duration of travel along a route as well as the accurate local time in any number of locations on the globe. Using satellites to support this trio of powerful information tools, humanity has found a way to visualize a sort of universal “grid” over the Earth, not unlike the latitude and longitude on a classroom globe. This grid allows complex operations and satellite communications that depend upon precise times and locations for accurate functioning. With these satellites acting as a relay for precise information, PNT has helped humanity step outside of the atmosphere and view the planet as a whole from a distinct, objective viewpoint.

Today, positioning systems like GPS can be found all over the world, used for personal navigation, industry projects, and more. PNT is in our pockets, allowing us to access and utilize geographic data in apps like Google Maps, Facebook and FourSquare. Our devices automatically sync to global time information provided by satellites and help us to navigate to the nearest cafe within a 10-minute walk. From a government, industrial and research perspective, PNT technologies are used to track and monitor all sorts of valuable data across a wide variety of fields, including law enforcement, space science, agriculture and others.  

PNT systems are now also vital to military functioning in the US and across the globe. In the US military, PNT is used to maintain constant situational awareness, identify and lock onto targets, control and command military units and drones, and much more. In fact, with the success of its missions often relying on GPS, the US military finds itself not asking why it should use PNT, but how it can improve its use of PNT technologies.

CAST Navigation Satellite Simulation

CAST does one thing–GPS simulation–and does it very well. Employing cutting-edge satellite simulation technology, CAST Navigation products and services have been used to test the GPS systems of dozens of modern military aircraft, unmanned air vehicles/fighter jets, and more. CAST simulations provide quality data with spot-on precision to both military and commercial customers, and have even provided valuable information to land, nautical and racing applications.

For more information or to inquire about CAST products, browse our website or contact CAST Navigation at your convenience.

July 11, 2016