Spirent Communications plc has today announced a partnership with Fraunhofer lIS and LZE GmbH that will ensure continuity of supply of Spirent’s leading Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS) Radio Frequency Constellation Simulator (RFCS) product extension after the UK leaves the European Union.
The new partnership will see sales and order processing hosted by LZE GmbH of Erlangen, Germany, with Munich-based Fraunhofer lIS taking on responsibility for the future development, fulfilment and support of Galileo PRS in the Spirent GSS9000 GNSS test solution. Fraunhofer will become the sole owner of the SimPRS software/firmware, which will no longer be accessible to Spirent after the UK leaves the EU.
This partnership and strategy is technically made possible through Spirent’s RFCS system architecture providing a clearly-defined interface, with strict need-to-know separation between the core RFCS and PRS hardware and software components. This well-defined delineation ensures that both the RFCS and PRS simulation tools can be developed independently.
“We are delighted with this new partnership with Fraunhofer and LZE,“ said Martin Foulger, general manager of Spirent’s global positioning business. “We have been actively exploring contingency strategies to address the possibility that our UK-based Positioning Technology Division would be disallowed from engaging with Galileo PRS-related activities following Brexit. With this partnership in place, LZE, Fraunhofer IIS and Spirent are confident that this new approach will successfully deliver continuity of supply for Galileo PRS on the GSS9000 RFCS.”
Spirent and Fraunhofer IIS, together with key Spirent Galileo RFCS customers, can confirm that authorization was given by the relevant authorities to proceed with the partnership and that a legal framework was agreed between the two organizations. That framework is currently allowing both parties to execute on a focused technology transfer, training and quality assurance plan that will result in Fraunhofer IIS taking qualified technical ownership of the SimPRS product by the end of 2018.
The technical challenge and programmatic risks associated with this migration exercise are significantly mitigated by Spirent’s similar experience in working with a third-party US entity to add GPS Modernized Navstar Security Algorithm (MNSA) support to the GSS9000.