Secured navigation arrives with the first UK Galileo Public Regulated Service-only positioning

12 Jul 2013

Farnborough, UK – 12 July, 2013

Vital public service providers, such as the UK’s emergency services and key Government Departments, will soon have access to a more reliable system of satellite navigation, thanks to the greater level of resilience offered by Galileo’s Public Regulated Service (PRS).

On 1 July 2013, the UK became the first independent EU Member State to achieve live position fixes using the secure PRS signals from the current constellation of Galileo navigation satellites. This was achieved by a QinetiQ team supporting the UK Space Agency and the Satellite Applications Catapult under the auspices of UK national PRS trialling activities.

The positioning was achieved using the Galileo PRS Test User Receiver (PRS-TUR) jointly developed by QinetiQ and its Belgian partner Septentrio Satellite Navigation NV under a European Space Agency (ESA) contract. For the reception test, the receiver was installed and operated by QinetiQ technical experts in its Secure Navigation laboratory in Malvern, UK. Positioning accuracy of ~10 m was achieved, excellent for a first test so early in the system’s deployment.

This latest achievement builds on the successful completion of the UK Space Agency’s first phase of UK PRS Pilot projects in areas covering end-to-end security, key management, novel PRS service delivery models and PRS receivers for Governmental and military applications.

PRS is one of the key Galileo services which offers higher level of integrity and resilience for sensitive applications and government use. The unique nature of Galileo as a civil system means that this kind of reliability and integrity will become available to a wide range of non-military and military approved users across government functions and applications in critical infrastructure including telecoms, transport, finance and public utilities.

PRS enables Governments to respond more effectively to the increasing threats to satellite navigation systems from deliberate or inadvertent interference which could undermine crucial government functions or national services.

With PRS becoming a tangible reality, national governments will increasingly improve their continuity of access to reliable satellite based navigation and timing signals, even in compromised environments where users with sensitive applications require a high level of service continuity.

QinetiQ is proud to be a key, long-term contributor to the Galileo Programme, having been working closely with the European Space Agency (ESA), the European GNSS Agency (GSA), European industrial partners and European Member States since 2003.

Dr David Parker, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency said: “The UK is delighted to be supporting ESA and the Galileo Programme in its delivery of the UK’s PRS pilot activity. The achievement of a PRS only position fix is a notable success in its own right. For the UK this is also part of a broader body of test and development activity to create a range of technology platforms and novel applications to demonstrate how the UK will meet the needs of a range of PRS users. Our collaborative approach to securing growth and innovation through partnerships with industry and the Satellite Applications Catapult are key to delivering innovative solutions that will ensure the future success of PRS technologies and PRS derived applications.

Paul Febvre, Chief Technology Officer of the Satellite Applications Catapult said: “PRS represents a real opportunity for UK industry. GPS has been enormously successful and led to creation of thousands of applications, some of which are now critical to Britain’s continued economic success, efficiency, and security. The Galileo PRS service will bring additional protection, security and accuracy. Significant growth is anticipated as organisations realise the potential benefits. The Catapult is delighted to be part of UK’s strategy in this area and proud to support the UK Space Agency with this initiative. The early success demonstrated by QinetiQ with PRS positioning is another example of UK companies working with government agencies in a collaborative and innovative manner to support growth in the space sector.

Dr Jeremy Ward, Managing Director of QinetiQ’s C4ISR Division said: “Galileo and the Public Regulated Service present significant opportunities for UK growth and I am delighted that, with this latest achievement, QinetiQ has made another significant contribution to driving the development pace towards the roll-out of PRS products, services and applications. We are delighted to have been part of this UK achievement in becoming the first EU member state to independently demonstrate a live PRS position fix. This is a significant milestone which represents many years of innovation and investment and is a key step for UK industry towards delivering returns on the UK’s significant investment in the Galileo programme to date”

Notes for Editors:

Galileo, one of Europe’s largest high-technology cooperative infrastructure programmes, will provide Europe with a sovereign global satellite navigation system ensuring the availability of reliable navigation services for a wide range of different users. The Galileo system will deliver a number of navigation services including an open service, a commercial service and the Public Regulated Service (PRS). The PRS is an encrypted service for Government authorised users who have an enhanced security need (such as police, security services etc). For more information on Galileo please see the ESA website (www.esa.int) and the European GNSS Agency (GSA) website (www.gsa.europa.eu).

About the UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space. It is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions.

The Agency is responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in the space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. It leads the UK’s civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefits to all citizens.

The UK Space Agency:

Co-ordinates UK civil space activity
Encourages academic research
Supports the UK space industry
Raises the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad
Increases understanding of space science and its practical benefits
Inspires our next generation of UK scientists and engineers
Licences the launch and operation of UK spacecraft
Promotes co-operation and participation in the European Space programme

For more information, please contact:
UK Space Agency press office
Office: +44 (0)1793 418069
Mobile: +44 (0)7770 276721

About the UK Satellite Applications Catapault

The Satellite Applications Catapult (http://sa.catapult.org.uk/) has been established by the Technology Strategy Board to support UK industry and become a world-class centre for the development and commercial exploitation of space and satellite-based products, services and applications. It is one of a seven-strong Catapult network of world-leading technology and innovation centres of excellence set up to help businesses take innovative ideas through to commercialisation.

The Satellite Applications Catapult brings invaluable resources, including expertise and new facilities, to enable the best businesses, researchers and end-users to work together and with the Catapult to develop new satellite-based products, services and applications.

For more information, please contact:
Karen Rogers, Head of Marketing & Communications
Email: karen.rogers@sa.catapult.org.uk
Office: +44 (0)1235 567999

About QinetiQ

A FTSE250 company, QinetiQ uses its domain knowledge to provide technical support and know-how to customers in the global aerospace, defence and security markets. QinetiQ has a long association with the Galileo programme, particularly in the areas of security, space technology supply and security for user receivers. For more information about QinetiQ and our range of products and services, please visit our website at www.QinetiQ.com.

As well as developing its own products QinetiQ is supporting ESA, the European Commission and European GNSS Agency (GSA) with the development, deployment and preparation for Galileo operations. QinetiQ has provided expert consultancy and information assurance services to support the security accreditation of the highly complex pan-European Galileo project. QinetiQ’s work contributes directly to the risk management for the Galileo project which is conducted through a bespoke methodology, established by security experts from across the 27 EU Members States.

This latest PRS milestone builds on a number of previous QinetiQ major achievements on Galileo PRS including:

First ever laboratory demonstration of the PRS signal acquisition and tracking in QinetiQ (Malvern, UK, 2006)
Successful RF compatibility test between a Galileo payload and the PRS-TUR (Portsmouth, UK, 2010)
Successful Galileo end-to-end system test including the Galileo Ground Mission Segment (GMS) and its key management facilities, satellite and PRS-TUR (Rome, Italy, 2011)
First successful reception and processing of the PRS signal from space (Fucino, Italy, 2012)
Working closely with UK industrial partners to successfully complete the UK Space Agency’s first phase of UK’s PRS Pilot projects in areas covering end-to-end security, key management, novel PRS service delivery models and PRS receivers for Governmental and military applications (2013).

Notes for Editors

A FTSE250 company, QinetiQ uses its domain knowledge to provide technical support and know-how to customers in the global aerospace, defence and security markets. QinetiQ's unique position enables it to be a trusted partner to government organisations, predominantly in the UK and the US, including defence departments, intelligence services and security agencies.
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For further information, please contact
QinetiQ Press Office on Tel: +44 (0) 1252 39 3500
Email: PressOffice@QinetiQ.com

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Secured navigation arrives with the first UK Galileo Public Regulated Service-only positioning