Torrance, CA - October 10, 2005 - NavCom Technology, a wholly owned subsidiary of Deere & Company (NYSE:DE), announced today that 6 of the finalist teams in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)2005 Grand Challenge for autonomous robotic ground vehicles, used NavCom's SF-2050 GPS receiver with the reliability of the StarFire(TM) Network, providing them superior reliability and decimeter positioning accuracy throughout the course.
The selection of the 23 DARPA Grand Challenge finalists who were competing for a cash prize of $2 million was based on each teams robots' ability to operate autonomously through a treacherous and challenging desert terrain. After receiving the route waypoints just two hours prior to "launch," each robot set out to navigate a 132-mile off-road course accurately, while detecting and avoiding obstacles such as bumpy desert roads, dry lakebeds, freeway underpasses and narrow mountain passes while moving at military relevant rates of speed. The finalists participated not only in a race of great challenge but in a real turning point in military technology that is one step closer to saving lives of soldiers in combat.
"These vehicles haven't just achieved world records, they've made history," said Dr. Anthony Tether, Director of DARPA. Emphasizing the value and mission of DARPA to foster the development of emerging technologies in both military and civilian applications, Tether continued, "We have completed our mission here and look forward to watching these exciting technologies take off."
"NavCom is delighted that so many of the DARPA Grand Challenge teams chose our SF-2050 GPS receiver utilizing our decimeter accurate StarFire™ Network for their satellite based vehicle navigation and positioning," said NavCom Director of Advanced Programs, Dr. Peter Williams. "We congratulate all of the teams that took part in this event and look forward to the day when the development of autonomous vehicles will help save lives in battlefield scenarios, disaster relief and other safety critical situations."
NavCom's StarFire Network is a global satellite based augmentation system (SBAS) that provides precise positioning accuracies within a few centimeters of truth. The StarFire Network is used in land, marine and aeronautical applications in fields ranging from surveying and machine control to offshore and defense.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense (DoD). It manages and directs selected basic and applied research and development projects for DoD, and pursues research and technology where risk and payoff are both very high and where success may provide dramatic advances for traditional military roles and missions. For more information about DARPA and the Grand Challenge, please visit www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge.
About NavCom Technology, Inc.
NavCom Technology, Inc., a John Deere Company (NYSE:DE), is a leading provider of advanced GPS products for OEMs, VARs and system integrators needing high performance RTK systems, global decimeter level GPS satellite corrections, geodetic quality GPS receivers, wireless communication products and engineering consulting in the areas of precise positioning, wireless communications and robotics. For more information on NavCom Technology and its products, please visit www.NavComTech.com.