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Galileo

April 9, 2020

NATO Software Estimates Areas of Degraded GNSS Service

Experts at the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency have developed a software-based tool that can estimate the area where an interfering signal would degrade or deny GNSS signals, and assess the scale of the interfering signal and its potential impact on operations. Principally of interest are jamming or spoofing attacks on GPS or Galileo, of course.

The Radar Electromagnetic and Communication Coverage Tool (REACT), was sponsored by the NATO Navigation and Identification Programme of Work. It serves as a proof-of-concept of how analytical tools could support the execution of operations. The tool is also available to NATO Nations free of charge. For now, the software is only used for trial and experimentation.

NATO REACT, photo courtesy NCI
NATO REACT, photo courtesy NCI

To use the software, operators input information on the particular jammers – their locations and technical characteristics — and the software produces a map of the area where the interfering signals would degrade or deny GNSS receivers. This can be displayed on the NATO Core Geographical Information System (GIS) map.

The next phase of the project focuses on ensuring the software can work on NATO classified networks, which would make it more available to operational commands to test and ensure such support measures are properly integrated into NATO operations.

The software and its estimations were demonstrated to operators during exercise Trident Jupiter 2019, part 1, to collect their feedback. The exercise gathered 3,000 military and civilian personnel as participants, evaluators and observers. Thirty NATO member and partner nations participated in nine different exercise locations across Europe.

“Ten consecutive twelve-hour working days and a relentless, ever-increasing, battle-rhythm tempo came to an end as Exercise Trident Jupiter 2019-1 (TRJU19-1) reached completion on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019,” the agency stated.

TRJU19 was the largest and most complex exercise planned and executed by the Alliance’s Joint Warfare Centre to date. TRJU19-2 took place in March 2020.

“NATO’s adversaries have the ability to degrade or deny GPS-enabled capabilities,” said Jean-Philippe Saulay, a NATO Navigation and Identification Officer. “NATO must take appropriate measures to ensure Allied forces can operate in a degraded or denied environment.”

“NATO must maintain superiority in the electromagnetic environment, including but not limited to, positioning, navigation and timing services,” said Dr Enrico Casini, Communications and Navigation Engineer at the NCI Agency. “Situational awareness of navigation systems in a contested electromagnetic environment contributes to that superiority. NATO is enhancing its knowledge of electronic warfare technology,” Dr Casini said. “The electromagnetic environment has become even more contested in recent years. One aspect of that is interference with GNSS systems.”

Photos courtesy NATO Communications and Information Agency.

By Inside GNSS

Hidden Siblings of the GNSS

GPS keeps a digital twin sequestered in El Segundo, California. Galileo has an Earth-bound space vehicle in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, straining at its bonds, yearning to break free and fly with its brethren. Both constellation “ghosts” exist in an eerie testing twilight, being made to replicate the movements and reactions of their free-flying families. Their sacrifices could lead to better, more robust satellites in future generations.

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By Alan Cameron
April 6, 2020

Brussels View: From the 12th European Union Space Conference

At the 12th EU Space Conference in Brussels, Thierry Breton made his first appearance as the new European Commissioner for Internal Market, and a remarkable appearance it was. In his position, Breton is charged with overseeing two of the European Commission’s Directorates General, that of Communications Networks, Content and Technology, also known as DG CONNECT, and Defense Industry and Space, also known, cleverly, as DG DEFIS. In French, defis means “challenges.”

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By Peter Gutierrez
April 2, 2020

Space Symposium Moves to Fall in Colorado

The 2020 Space Symposium has been rescheduled for October 31—November 2 this year, to be held as usual at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. GPS in particular and GNSS in general always form an important part of the program. The annual assembly gathers leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs from the civil, commercial, military, research, and international sectors of the world’s space community.

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By Inside GNSS
March 27, 2020

GSA Posts List of Covid 19-Fighting GNSS Apps

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has posted a list of location-GNSS-Galileo based applications that may be useful tools against diffusion of COVID-19.

The applications cover a range of uses from supporting public authorities to assisting citizens in their everyday life under social distancing, closures and quarantines.

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By Inside GNSS

Carlo des Dorides Departs from Longtime Post as GSA Executive Director

“Galileo is a true European success story,
and I am proud if in a small way I have contributed to building Europe with it.”

European Union space mainstay Carlo des Dorides, Executive Director of the European GNSS Agency (GSA) since 2011, retired from this post at the end of January.  He was scheduled to speak at the 12th EU Space Conference in Brussels that month, but had to skip out when he was called to a special budget session of the European Parliament. It would have been his last appearance in a public forum as GSA chief. Inside GNSS met with him in Brussels to talk and to say farewell.

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By Peter Gutierrez
March 13, 2020

Signal Vulnerability.

Previously, controlled reception pattern antennas (CRPAs) were only in the military domain, and highly classified. The need to counter increasing  GNSS signal jamming and spoofing in the civil realm has brought CRPAs into limited use there as well.  How to test for their efficacy in product design and development?

A free webinar on Wednesday, March 25 from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time addresses the topic “GNSS Vulnerability Testing and the Controlled Reception Pattern Antenna (CRPA).” This technically rich, educational event is sponsored by Spirent Communications and Inside GNSS.

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By Inside GNSS
February 25, 2020

Android Developers Enticed by Half-Meter Accuracy from Smartphone

A new GNSS-centric application programming interface (API) library for Android and IoT developers is on the verge of appearing, and is now accepting registrations for its software development kit. The Fulfilling Enhanced Location Accuracy in the Mass Market through Initial Galileo Services (FLAMINGO) reportedly achieves half-meter accuracy in a smartphone.

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By Inside GNSS
February 5, 2020

European Space Agency Looks at 2020

European Space Agency (ESA) top brass welcomed journalists to the Agency’s headquarters in Paris for its annual New Year’s press launch. On hand was the Director General as well as ESA’s Galileo guru Paul Verhoef, who spoke one-on-one with Inside GNSS.

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By Peter Gutierrez