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New EU Report Stresses Importance of GNSS Alternatives for PNT

By Eric Van Rees - 27th March 2023 - 05:57

The European Union’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) released a new report on its trials of Alternative Position, Navigation and Timing (A-PNT) technologies, conducted between 2021 and 2022.

The demonstration tested technologies from seven different companies on their ability to address vulnerabilities and serve as a complement to Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) – the satellite-based PNT technology that includes the EU’s Galileo and the United States’ GPS systems, among others. Although widely used, GNSS technology suffers from unique shortcomings, and without alternatives in place, the effects of an outage would be far-reaching and damaging to the European economy.

The JRC recognized NextNav’s TerraPoiNT as a mature solution that meets or exceeds all relevant benchmarks to serve as a resilient layer to existing GNSS technology. Of the technologies tested, TerraPoiNT delivers both horizontal and vertical location services while remaining commercially deployable and cost-effective for end-users. Previously, tests by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) found TerraPoiNT to be the only commercial PNT alternative to meet identified needs in “all applicable use case scenarios.”

Critical infrastructure and industries are reliant on precise PNT services, but traditional GNSS remains vulnerable to interference, which can include jamming or spoofing attacks, solar flares, or even direct strikes on satellites. In recent months following the invasion of Ukraine, European commercial aircraft have reported jamming disruptions to their satellite navigation systems. A widespread outage would impact financial transactions, mobile networks, power grids, transportation infrastructure, and more, with disastrous economic and national security consequences.

Read More: Satellite Positioning, Navigation & Timing (PNT) Transport & Logistics

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