Projects   /   Completed

J2251 — Advanced Packaging Technology with Insertion into Defense Systems (APTIDS)

PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: May 2008 to May 2011


The Advanced Packaging Technology with Insertion into Defense Systems (APTIDS) project produced miniaturized Ground Based Global Positioning System Receiver Application Modules (GB-GRAM) units for implementation in military systems. This module demonstrated the application of advanced packaging technologies and techniques in both Radio Frequency (RF) and high speed digital modules to provide SWaP-C (size, weight, power, and cooling) solutions for DOD applications. Knowledge and practices gained through the APTIDS project was provided to the DOD industry, thereby multiplying the benefits of a single project. Advanced packaging technology from the commercial sector was leveraged to provide solutions to military electronics problems.


The expected benefits will be focused on significant reductions in board space. A reduction in space will enable the customer to either reduce the size of the board or add additional capability to it, while staying within its current dimensional constraints. This effort resulted in an RF module volume reduction of 97% and a GPS receiver engine volume reduction of nearly 75% over their previous designs. Assembling both modules into a Next Generation GB-GRAM will produce a module that is 30% of its current volume. The project demonstrated that the prototype unit met all operation specifications of the larger GB-GRAM module currently under development by the Army.

The main benefits of this project were size reductions of the GB-GRAM, RF, and Global Positioning System (GPS) modules by approximately 70%, 97%, and 76% respectively. The small, modular design enabled the rapid development and deployment of GPS in a variety of systems. Component standardization made it possible for high volume GPS components to be used across DOD communications and weapons platforms. Decreases in cost of such systems, accompanied by significant increases in the technical readiness and manufacturing readiness levels, occurred as a result of this project. Improved antijam features were also incorporated into these devices.


The manufacturing processes developed under this project led to the design and development of the MicroGRAM GPS receiver by Rockwell Collins that can be incorporated into a wide variety of military systems. This GPS receiver is 90 percent smaller than the earlier version of the Miniature Precision Lightweight GPS Receiver Engine SAASM (MPETM-S). The extraordinary size reduction means that equipment such as handheld radios, ruggedized field computers, laser range finders, gun scopes, and small unmanned aircraft can now be equipped with military GPS capability having unique security features.

The technologies developed as a result of this work have wide ranging applicability to military programs. Under this project, small form-factor Global Positioning Receiver and Radio Frequency modules were developed. These elements were combined to produce a prototype GB-GRAM module which was tested to Army GPS specifications and compared to a module fabricated using standard manufacturing technology.

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