Qinetiq, Rockwell Demonstrate Multi-Constellation Galileo/GPS Secure Positioning for Governmental Applications

November 12, 2013  - By
Image: GPS World

On August 30, QinetiQ and Rockwell Collins demonstrated the first joint satellite navigation positioning using live signals from the encrypted governmental services from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) GPS Precise Positioning Service (GPS-PPS) and the new European Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS). The signals on GPS L1 and L2, together with Galileo PRS L1A and E6A, were processed and combined to form multi-frequency, multi-constellation position fixes.

Positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) services provided by GNSS, such as GPS and the forthcoming Galileo system, are essential to underpinning both commercial and economic activity (the EC estimates 6-7% of the developed world’s GDP) and the delivery of governmental responsibilities including the safety and security of citizens.

GNSS systems such as GPS and Galileo make use of very low power signals and are subject to inadvertent interference, deliberate jamming and spoofing (where an attacker generates a false signal masquerading as a valid one to mislead a user receiver). Attacks on GNSS may range from low-level criminal nuisance (a delivery driver stopping their employer tracking them), enabling theft of high-value vehicles fitted with trackers, through to state-sponsored attacks. This is potentially a significant concern for a wide range of governmental users including law enforcement, security and emergency services, critical national infrastructure, transport and defense users. The use of multiple independent, secured navigation services provides significant improvements to navigation robustness and, along with other measures, offers substantial counters to these threats.

“This has been our first opportunity to explore how secured navigation services on GPS and Galileo can be used together to provide users with critical reliance on PNT with robust and continuous navigation services,” Nigel Davies, Head of QinetiQ’s Secured Navigation Group said. “QinetiQ is proud to be a key, long-term contributor to the Galileo Programme, having been working closely with the European Space Agency (ESA), the European GNSS Agency (GSA), European industrial partners and European Member States since 2003.  QinetiQ and Rockwell Collins wish to thank ESA, the EC and GSA for support in accessing Galileo, as well as the UK Space Agency, UK Satellite Applications Catapult and the UK MOD for their support.”