CGI to develop service to alert UK of GNSS disruption

October 29, 2020  - By

The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded a contract to London-based CGI to develop a GNSS Event Notification Service (GENS) capable of monitoring the United Kingdom (U.K.) GNSS spectrum to enable effective alerting and reporting of position, navigation and time (PNT) disruption.

GENS will integrate CGI’s PNT Incident Event Monitoring (PNTIEM) system with existing U.K.-developed sensors from Ordnance Survey’s network (OS NET) of GNSS receivers and GMV NSL’s Detector, GISMO and Strike 3 interface technologies.

Bringing together existing systems will build on proven technologies, reducing the cost of development of a large-scale monitoring network while providing the ability to introduce new services for detecting GNSS events and disruption, according to a CSI press release.

Supported by the OS and GMV NSL, CGI will lead the delivery of GENS using an agile software delivery experience, supported by system design and DevSecOps development and integration skills. An open interface will be offered for future providers of GNSS measurements or spectrum event data.

Alongside the GENS system technical delivery, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) will develop a GNSS guidance document in partnership with U.K. government departments, agencies, CNI operators, professional institutes, academic institutes and commercial organizations to enable informed requirements development, procurement, deployment and support of HMG GNSS-reliant services.

Reviewed alongside events identified by GENS, the combined offering will highlight and inform stakeholders on risks posed by the loss of PNT services as identified by the PNT Strategy Group Interim Report in April 2020.

GENS will also respond to HMG’s “Satellite-derived time and position: a study of critical dependencies” report which identified the need for mitigation to GNSS disruption and estimated the economic impact to the U.K. economy of a five-day disruption to GNSS at £5.2 billion.

The full GENS system will enable users across both commercial and public sector services to subscribe to be informed of both GNSS quality and interference events for regions of interest. By focusing on these events and the improved understanding of the risk posed by disruption, stakeholders will be better informed to enable them to build system resilience or to respond to the disruption of GNSS within the U.K.

‘‘Detecting and monitoring GNSS is core to better understanding the scale and risk posed by PNT disruption in the U.K. and across all ESA member states,” said Rafael Lucas Rodriguez, technical officer for GENS, European Space Agency. “ESA is supporting CGI to develop effective tools enabling a system to be created utilizing previous ESA and UK HMG work. This will bring direct benefits for U.K. public and private stakeholders.”

“The U.K. is a leading investor in GNSS research,” said Andy Proctor, U.K. lead delegate to the ESA Programme Board for Navigation. “Understanding GNSS spectrum quality is vital for the stability of PNT services in the U.K. This program will help promote and address GNSS disruption affecting PNT services while supporting the U.K.’s thriving space sector and the wider economy.”

“This is an exciting project that brings together CGI’s navigation and spectrum domain expertise supported by scaled agile and DevSecOps delivery experience,” said John Hanley, vice president of secure and assured space solutions at CGI in the U.K. “After talking to both public and private stakeholders for GNSS, it became clear that one of the initial challenges is understanding the scale of PNT disruption. GNSS services touch every part of society across finance, utilities, transport and defense and need to be protected.”

CGI has been delivering complex, mission-critical space software systems for clients across Europe, Asia and North America, supporting satellite navigation, communications, operations and space enabled applications for more than 40 years.

Feature photo: alice-photo/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.