Penn State University Navigation R&D Center

Penn State University Navigation R&D Center

Sales Contact:


995 Newtown Road
Warminster, PA 18974

About Us:
The Navigation R&D Center (NRDC) specializes in research, development, testing and evaluation of navigation hardware, software and methodology. NRDC is affiliated with Pennsylvania State University's Applied Research Laboratory which is the nation's second largest University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). NRDC is located in Warminster, Pa. at a location and within a test complex uniquely selected and designed for high accuracy testing of inertial sensors. Most of the world's most advanced inertial sensors have been or are currently being tested at NRDC. Research in the areas of inertial navigation, satellite navigation, geophysical navigation, and integrated navigation for virtually all types of platforms is conducted. As a non-profit UARC, PSUARL NRDC has versatile contracting capability with most government agencies and also contracts with commercial companies involved in navigation. NRDC employs 32 people, most of whom are specialists in navigation with advanced engineering or science degrees and military clearances. The facility is equipped with extensive processing capabilities and virtually the entire facility is secure.

Among the special laboratories located in Warminster are the Quiet Test Laboratory, the System Test Laboratory, a Microelectromechanical (MEMS) Sensor Laboratory and a soon to be completed radio navigation systems laboratory. The Quiet Test Laboratory, which is the kernel of the entire inertial facility, is considered a national resource because of its unique capability to test the most precise inertial sensors and equipment. Its 12 test piers bonded directly to bedrock are the centerpiece of a state-of-the-art gyroscope, accelerometer and inertial measurement units test and evaluation capability. The System Test Laboratory is used for testing integrated navigation systems under dynamic conditions encountered aboard ships and submarines. It includes a Ship Motion Simulator (Scorsby) capable of handling the largest ship's inertial navigation systems. The MEMS laboratory, in conjunction with foundries at State College and commercial foundries, designs, fabricates, and tests the next generation of tactical and avionics miniaturized inertial sensors. The radio navigation laboratory will expand an existing sophisticated GPS laboratory which has the most advanced military and commercial GPS receivers and GPS satellite simulators, with new capabilities to handle other signals of opportunity including all GNSS signals, IRIDIUM and interior navigation systems which may employ WiFi, UWB, RFID,sonar, infrared and camera sensors. Several NRDC personnel were affiliated with the original Navy GPS Central Engineering Activity in Warminster and still remain active in support of GPS/GNSS activities.

NRDC maintains an active navigation education program with accredited navigation courses at the Great Valley Master's Degree center and sponsor directed courses which can be given at NRDC's classroom or at the sponsor's facility. Courses are offered in Fundamentals of Navigation, Inertial Navigation, Geophysical Navigation, radio and satellite navigation, navigation software and history of navigation. We also sponsor an extensive COOP program and are actively pursuing young engineers and scientists interested in a navigation career.