Blog Editor’s Note: A good update article by George Shaw of the General Lighthouse Authority of UK and Ireland. This is the kind of issue that tends to fall into the background for users. Regular updates like this help keep it in the forefront of people’s minds making mishaps less likely.
We note that the US Coast Guard has identified this as a significant maritime cyber concern, and the International Maritime Organization has dubbed it a urgent safety of navigation issue.
Of course, if mariners had another wireless source of PNT that was difficult to disrupt to work with and reinforce GNSS, this would be MUCH less of a problem and danger.
Loss of satellite signal is a well-known operational risk, but few mariners are aware of the threat of GNSS providing a false time, position or direction even when still available. When these position errors exceed a safe margin of error, they can cause ships to derive and transmit dangerously misleading Information. GNSS is not designed with inherent real-time integrity, which refers to the users’ ability to trust the data and receive timely warnings if it is unreliable.