Image: Qascom

Authentication seems to be the challenge of the age. Can you trust information you find on line?  What political “leaders” are saying? Or how about those signals from space?

The folks over at the EU’s Galileo program are trying to do something about the signals from their satnav system at least. They have plans for two authentication services. An open service available to all and a commercial, fee-based service.

Our colleague Logan Scott, of Logan Scott consulting (and one of the smartest guys we know) pointed out this blog post series aobut these services. Our readers with a technical background will find it interesting.

And here is a presentation about them that was given at the PNT Advisory Board meeting last December.

We note that, while the US government likes to call GPS “the gold standard” for GNSS, no such authentication service is planned. The USAF has been experimenting with Logan Scott’s Chimera proposal, but we haven’t seen any proposal to operationalize it.

All of these efforts are good, though they will require users to upgrade their recievers to take advantage. Even then, while receviers would be more resistant to jamming and spoofing, they wouldn’t be immune.

A system of systems apporach is needed, including terrestrial signals such as those mandated by the National Timing Resilience and Security Act of 2018.  

Let’s get those on line too as quickly as possible, so users only have to upgrade their equipment once.