Following on from the GEODE project, NAVGUARD is the EU’s 56-million-euro initiative aimed at providing a space- and ground-based surveillance system, as well as mobile PRS receivers and other innovative technologies to improve the integrity and resilience of the Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS).
“NAVGUARD is a compliment to GEODE,” said Frank Wilms, Principal at FDC and project coordinator for both the GEODE and NAVGUARD projects. “Where GEODE is developing mostly receivers for mobile platforms, the objective of NAVGUARD is to monitor threats to PRS signal integrity, to provide technologies to detect illegitimate activities in GNSS frequency bands and geolocate the sources of malicious activities. This will employ a range of system elements, which will ultimately provide a robust and trustable PRS-based PNT capability for our end user equipment.”
Full R&D program
Among the core elements being developed under NAVGUARD is a complete surveillance system, consisting of ground-based sensors and a space-based surveillance subsystem. “We will be prototyping a range of space payloads, one of which will be launched in the frame of the next four years,” Wilms said, “and there will be an information management subsystem which is at the center of the information platform. This will gather data on threats to PRS signal integrity and redistribute it to the users.”
User equipment, including new PRS mobile receivers, also to be prototyped under the NAVGUARD project, will form elements contributing to the collection of threat identification data. “The NAVGUARD endeavor will also deliver a number of other innovative technology elements whose purpose will be to increase PRS PNT robustness,” Wilms said.
NAVGUARD, just launched in February 2023, brings together 31 companies from 11 countries and will run for four years. Like GEODE, it encompasses operational system demonstrations, including the above-mentioned space payload in orbit. It is co-funded under the European Defence Fund (EDF) 2021 framework, comprising an industrial consortium that includes coordinator FDC, Thales, Leonardo, OHB, GMV, Aerospacelab and many others.
Speaking at the recent Munich Satellite Summit, Wilms said, “This is the first time the European Commission has granted us permission to talk about these projects in public. GEODE and NAVGUARD are the two biggest PRS defence projects, developing a common infrastructure for EU NAVWAR capability, relying on GNSS spectrum surveillance and extending PRS equipment integration platforms to bring us one more step towards a scaled and cost-effective procurement for our PRS end users.”