EAB Q&A: Bridge the GPS vulnerability gap

May 29, 2024  - By

How can commercial space help bridge the GPS vulnerability gap by providing alternative PNT services?

Alison Brown

“With the proliferation of commercial SATCOM services being launched to provide global broadband services, there is an opportunity to leverage these capabilities to also augment positioning, navigation and timing (PNT). The Defense Science Board has been directed to consider this and is evaluating how these commercial alternatives, such as PNT signals-as-a-service, could supplement GPS if technical and logistical challenges could be overcome.

With the recent announcement of Iridium buying out Satelles for $115M and the apparent interest in the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to consider using commercial alternatives to provide backup PNT, this is likely to spur other innovations in this space and bring more players (and investors)  to the market. This has the potential to significantly increase PNT resilience around the world by enabling the use of existing SATCOM services, with a wide diversity of spectrum allocations separated from GPS, allowing operation

in a GPS-denied environment.

Deployment also can be accelerated by leveraging commercial manufacturers of SATCOM equipment who can rapidly release commercial products with alternative embedded PNT capability that can provide aiding data through the Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) standards already developed for A-PNT devices in the DOD acquisition process.

The major barrier to adoption of these services, however, could be the anemic funding being provided for adoption of commercial space services to Space Systems Command’s new Commercial Space Office (COMSO).”

–Alison Brown, NAVSYS Corp.

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About the Author: Matteo Luccio

Matteo Luccio, GPS World’s Editor-in-Chief, possesses more than 20 years of experience as a writer and editor for GNSS and geospatial technology magazines. He began his career in the industry in 2000, serving as managing editor of GPS World and Galileo’s World, then as editor of Earth Observation Magazine and GIS Monitor. His technical articles have been published in more than 20 professional magazines, including Professional Surveyor Magazine, Apogeo Spatial and xyHt. Luccio holds a master’s degree in political science from MIT. He can be reached at mluccio@northcoastmedia.net or 541-543-0525.