QinetiQ and Nottingham Scientific Ltd demonstrate a new low-cost, secured satellite navigation solution

26 Jul 2013

Farnborough, UK - 26 July 2013: QinetiQ and Nottingham Scientific Ltd (NSL) have partnered to demonstrate a ‘cloud- based’ technology that enables a wide range of high volume, low cost satellite navigation applications using Galileo’s Public Regulated Service (PRS).

The solution combines PRS with a ‘cloud’ based approach to provide robust and cost effective satellite navigation Services for Governmental, Critical National Infrastructure, ‘Blue-Light’ and potentially high value commercial applications.

Nigel Davies, Lead of QinetiQ’s Secured Navigation Business, said: “We are very pleased to have been able to successfully demonstrate new technology that can unlock the use of Galileo PRS technology to support a wide range of high-volume, low-cost secured navigation needs in the UK. Emergency service providers need secure navigation capabilities, but also need high volumes and therefore a cost-effective option is essential. With this application of the PRS technology it is possible to host secure navigation on one server, in say a back office, capture data from multiple locations and units and subsequently verify the location of a remote user. Along with NSL, we gratefully acknowledge the support provided by the UK Technology Strategy Board under the National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) ASPIRE project , the UK Space Agency’s (UKSA’s) SBRI EPIC project and the European Space Agency (ESA) and European Commission (EC) for the support and the provision of the required material to access PRS.”

Using PRS technology enables authenticated positioning, navigation and time services for applications requiring high levels of service integrity and availability in the face of malicious attacks, including attempts at position or time spoofing. The ‘cloud’ based approach allows potentially very low cost, low power sensors to be integrated into user devices and this enables the system to provide safety and security to a wide range of tracking, audit and surveillance applications, from monitoring personnel location, authenticating satellite based timing sources through to tracking high value assets.

This first proof of concept used cloud-based post-processing of the encrypted PRS signals in QinetiQ’s secured navigation laboratory in Malvern, UK, to authenticate the position of a remote User whose position had been determined via open, unencrypted signals.

The demonstration was jointly developed by satellite navigation and security experts at NSL and QinetiQ, under the auspices of the UK’s PRS trials activities sponsored by the UK Space Agency and as part of the ESA ‘PRS Participants To IOV’ project (PPTI), which enables Member States to access the live Galileo PRS signals for their own experimentation.

Mark Dumville, General Manager at NSL added: “The Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS) presents a new and exciting opportunity for government authorised users to benefit from guaranteed access to secure and trusted navigation. The collaboration between NSL and QinetiQ has developed a highly innovative technology which will increase the opportunities and markets for Galileo PRS applications. We value the partnership with QinetiQ and the support we have received from the UK government and ESA and EC which has resulted in the first demonstration of PRS in an application context. The achievement signifies that early services utilising Galileo PRS signals and low-end receivers are feasible. We look forward to working with early users who can see a value in embracing PRS within their business operations.

Pete Lindsay, PRS Lead at UK Space Agency commented: “As Member States begin to access live PRS capability, we have an exciting opportunity to develop novel applications and new technologies to support key parts of Government and Critical Infrastructure. We are delighted that our domestic development programme for PRS is helping to meet this challenge. This achievement clearly shows how UK industrial innovators are leading thinking in this field. This work is also thanks in no small measure to the support we have received from ESA and EC as well as key UK Partners in the Satellite Applications Catapult and the Technology Strategy Board.”

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), the European GNSS Agency (GSA) website (www.gsa.europa.eu) and European GNSS service centre (http://www.gsc-europa.eu/).

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'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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About NSL

NSL is one of the leading companies in Europe involved in satellite navigation technology and application development. NSL specialise in delivering reliable and robust GNSS based solutions for a variety of applications, such as those that impact safety, or are critical in terms of business, finance and security. NSL provide the following solutions and services to industry, business and government. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.nsl.eu.com.

Mission critical software for the upstream space Industry
GNSS receiver technologies, applications and services for downstream user markets
Satellite positioning and communications systems, applications and services for system integrators, service providers and governmental agencies.

For further information, please contact
Email: enquiries@nsl.eu.com
Tel : +44 (0)115 9682960

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QinetiQ and Nottingham Scientific Ltd demonstrate a new low-cost, secured satellite navigation solution