Resilient PNT critical to maritime advancement

November 9, 2020  - By
The ROSS project, conducted in France by companies Marlink and SeaOwl, demonstrated the feasilibity of autononmous shipping. Orolia systems ensured resilient PNT. (Photo: Marlink)

The ROSS project, conducted in France by companies Marlink and SeaOwl, demonstrated the feasibility of autonomous shipping. Orolia systems ensured resilient PNT. (Photo: Marlink)

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has issued a resolution for maritime cyber-risk management, effective January 2021. IMO Resolution MSC.428(98) affirms that maritime operators need to address cyber threats that risk the integrity and availability of technology systems.

GPS/GNSS signal jamming and spoofing expose the vulnerabilities of PNT-reliant systems. The single point of failure in the signals used to synchronize military operations or determine a vessel’s location leaves maritime systems open to attack. With resilient PNT, maritime and naval vessels can rely on trusted data.

Remote Operations at Sea. In September, Orolia participated in a Remotely Operated Service at Sea (ROSS) demonstration where an unmanned vessel was tele-operated from more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) away.

With its SecureSync Interference Detection and Mitigation (IDM) suite, Orolia provided the project’s PNT cybersecurity package and delivered precise, reliable data for the control center to pilot the vessel from afar. The IDM suite includes GNSS threat detection and mitigation, as well as the option to include encrypted and alternative signals for use in GNSS-denied environments.

After this successful demonstration, SeaOwl Group, the company leading the ROSS project, obtained the first remotely operated vessel navigation license in France.

Diving Deep. Atomic clocks and oscillators are useful for underwater operations where RF signals are unavailable to provide accurate PNT data. Precision timing technologies, such as Orolia’s Spectratime mRO-50 oscillator, ensure stable timing for navigation systems through radar. They support missions such as:

  • stabilizing and synchronizing sensor measurement data collection for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs)
  • providing holdover to maintain precise positioning on submarines during extended periods of GNSS signal denial
  • generating precise frequencies with low phase noise and less burden on radio receiver architecture, such as search-and-rescue control centers
  • operating with low power consumption and increasing the reliability of radio reception.

Resilient PNT is essential at sea, from military missions and commercial freight shipping to port management, search and rescue, research and fishing operations. Jamming and spoofing detection, threat mitigation, and alternative PNT sources configured in multiple layers of protection can ensure continuous operations, even in compromised environments. In shallow or deep-water environments, Orolia’s portfolio includes critical infrastructure support for naval command-and-control centers, essential GNSS vulnerability testing and services, and wearable solutions that fit in the palm of a hand.