Image: Greenwich Observatory, UK – Shutterstock

Blog Editor’s Note: We are delighted the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN) took time the other day to file a comment to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Request for Information titled “America’s Supply Chains and the Transportation Industrial Base.” 

It is always good to get others’ perspective and validation that the U.S. isn’t the only country dealing with such issues.  

Also, that, as mentioned in the RIN comment, some nations (China, Russia, others) have already dealt with the issue and don’t have such serious PNT resilience problems.

Thanks much to CEO John Pottle and the RIN for taking the time and offering such great insights!


BTW: RNT Foundation’s comments can be found on the docket here. We strongly encourage others to provide comments also.


Comment from Royal Institute of Navigation

Posted by the Department of Transportation on Oct 8, 2021

Comment ID DOT-OST-2021-0106-0238

Dear Sir / Madam,

My organization is a non-US entity so I will be brief.

I am commenting on behalf of the Royal Institute of Navigation, of which I am Director (CEO). The Institute’s objective is to share knowledge and understanding in relation to positioning, navigation and timing. The Institute has been established for almost 75 years and has world-recognised deep expertise and experience.

I would like to wholeheartedly support the comments made by the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation on this matter. The UK Government has recently undertaken a detailed review of the resilience of positioning, navigation and timing systems. The stark reality is that all critical infrastructure would be affected by a loss of satellite navigation systems. A UK report from 2017/8 found a £1 billion / day impact from the loss of satellite navigation systems. The major areas impacted were logistics. Many at-risk sectors remain exposed. In fact, many have become more exposed due to either more adoption and/or due to increased prevalence and severity of cyber risks such as jamming and spoofing. (Reference @ note 1 below.)

There is evidence that China, Russia and others have invested in complementary and/or back-up systems to reduce their reliance on satellite navigation signals. The UK strategy, to be published soon, recommends a layered approach to improve performance, combining multiple diverse positioning systems for resilience. These systems should not all be space-based.

In short: your friends in the UK recognize the challenges and are similarly actively engaged in investigating resilient solutions.

Please contact me directly if I you have questions.

Sincerely, John Pottle

Note 1: report reference