The current state of the Defense, Security and Government PNT sector

August 8, 2018  - By

GPS World magazine recently conducted the 2018 State of the Industry survey, an online polling of the GNSS community. It has become an annual feature, probing for the technical and business challenges that are drawing attention this year, how executives, managers and product developers are driving business in today’s economy, what issues they are concerned about, and — always — what solutions hold the most promise for positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) in challenged and indoor environments, regardless of which technology provides them?

This column reports on the answers provided by those who identified themselves as working in the Defense, Security and Government (DSG) sector of the GNSS/PNT industry, and speculates on the insights that can be drawn from the answers.

Among all who took the survey, 18 percent said they worked in Defense, Security and Government, the second largest group among eight industry sectors, following only Survey and High Precision in size. Of the DSG group members, 82 percent were based in the United States, 6 percent each in Europe and Asia-other-than-Russia-China-and-Japan, and 4 percent from Latin America. Slightly more than half of them worked in companies of more than 500 people.

Queried as to job title, they answered as follows:

Owner/president/co-owner/CEO: 8 percent

Vice president, CTO, COO, CFO or similar: 6 percent

General Manager: 2 percent

Product or program manager: 10 percent

Researcher: 12 percent

Engineer: 44 percent, the largest group

and Other: 18percent, with this last category encompassing consultants, cartographers, a security architect systems engineer, and more.

Each sector group taking the survey answered two questions specific to their sector, while also responding to a variety of economic and systemic questions for the industry as a whole. In the DSG group, the specific questions were:

How vulnerable is GPS/GNSS in defense/security/critical government applications, that is, M-code or similar, to disruption by jamming, whether intentional or unintentional?


What is the greatest threat to GNSS over the next three years?

The answers to vulnerability appear here:

Source: <em>GPS World</em> 2018 State of the Industry survey

Source: GPS World 2018 State of the Industry survey




And the answers to threat here:

Source: <em>GPS World</em> 2018 State of the Industry survey

Source: GPS World 2018 State of the Industry survey

Perhaps we erred in offering an “All of the above” answer, as nearly half of respondents selcted that option. This shows a generalized awareness (and fear) of threats, but lacks the capability to then prioritize those threats.


Delving a little further into the responses from the DSG sector, when asked “What technology will win fully enable seamless outdoor/indoor navigation, in combination with GNSS,” they answered:

Assisted GNSS           8.57 percent

Assisted GNSS plus any ONE of the six other answers (Cell-tower triangulation, Proximity beacons, Radio frequency pattern-matching, Sensor-based dead reckoning, Terrestrial ranging system,Wi-Fi   22.86 percent

And the winner: Assisted GNSS plus MORE THAN ONE of the six alternatives  34.29 percent

With Don’t Know, 17.14 percent, and Other, 8.57 percent.

More than any other solution an integration of at least three sensors, in the opinion of the plurality, will be necessary for ubiquitous positioning and navigation.

First choice for a GNSS back-up? The leading answer was eLoran, at 25.71 percent, followed by Low-Earth orbit satellite constellations, 22.86 percent, and Sensor-based dead reckoning, 17.14 percent.

How much effort are you devoting to mitigation of GNSS jamming and/or spoofing?

This is the leading concern of out research and development effort   40 percent

This is an important concern for our R&D, but not the dominant one          20 percent

This is one among many factors we consider; no particular importance above others 17.14 percent

And very surprisingly: We are not focusing on jamming/spoofing mitigation at all at this time        22.86 percent

Finally, describe the market for GNSS products/services in the Defense, Security and Government PNT industry sector as of today.

Very healthy; strong growth   25.71 percent

Relatively healthy; moderate growth  48.57 percent

Flat      22.86 percent

Slightly down  2.86 percent

For more results from the 2018 State of the GNSS Industry, see this page.

This article is tagged with , , , , , and posted in Defense, Opinions

About the Author: Alan Cameron

Alan Cameron is the former editor-at-large of GPS World magazine.