Blog Editor’s Note: A couple interesting things about this. First, while the event was put on by the Royal Institute of Navigation, it was sponsored by two government agencies. Further evidence of the UK government’s seriousness in addressing this issue.  Second, the two options primarily discussed were STL (mentioned as still under development) and eLoran. These were the same two mentioned in last year’s report by London Economics. 

Securing PNT Workshop Looks at GNSS Back-up Options

With eyes on a future where reliable GNSS back-ups are in place to protect against both accidental or intentional disruptions of GNSS, three organizations represented on Positioning, Navigation and Timing Technical Group (PNTTG) – Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN) and The General Lighthouse Authorities – hosted a seminar last month to review user needs and the status of two possible RF back-up options to GNSS mentioned in the London Economics report on the economic impact of a GNSS disruption.
With so much of today’s society reliant on GNSS technology, any extended disruption of service could cause quite an uproar. Several of these potential problems were described in great detail in a government report commissioned by Innovate UK along with the UK Space Agency and the Royal Institute of Navigation in 2017.

Additionally, the recently published Blackett report “Satellite-Derived Time and Position: A Study of Critical Dependencies” concludes “we must take steps to increase the resilience of our critical services in the event of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) disruption, including by “adopting potential back-up systems where necessary”.

Implementation of the Blackett recommendations is being overseen by a UK Cabinet Office Blackett Review Implementation Team (BRIG). The technical aspects of implementing the recommendations are being led by a (PNTTG), reporting to the BRIG.

The event, held June 14 in London attracted strong interest, with more than 100 delegates, including representation from user communities requiring assured and accurate position or time. Presenter organizations included UK Space Agency, RIN, Spirent, Imperial College Institute for Security Science and Technology, Ursanav and Orolia. Nick Lambert of NLA International facilitated and chaired the event.

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Brad P

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