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SENSOR – Secure PNT Superiority

|   Call 2021

The main objective of the SENSOR project is to present the best possible considerations for the BMLV as the customer on how Secure PNT can be ensured in an operational area and, in addition, how Secure PNT Superiority can be established in the area of Navigation Warfare (NavWar). For this purpose, a testbed shall be established where already existing infrastructure for the necessary technical requirements in the area of Secure PNT and Secure PNT Superiority shall be designed.

Research activities in the field of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and their vulnerability to intentional and unintentional interference have been carried out extensively in recent years in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Defence, partners from science and industry. The focus has been on the development of jamming signals as well as mitigation strategies for the same. One goal of these projects has always been to establish a GNSS testbed to provide a basis for the military, research institutions and industry to perform realistic tests in a jammed environment. To this end, the infrastructure has been continually expanded and adapted to technical progress. This unique ability to conduct test campaigns around GNSS threats, to analyze the data and to develop new technologies and procedures based on it, has brought Austria international reputation. Within the FORTE project NavWaC, the aspects and requirements for a Navigation Warfare Center in Austria were elaborated, systems for conducting and monitoring attacks were tested and the added value was proven in a proof-of-concept. As the subject of NavWar is constantly evolving and both technology and tactics are changing, it is necessary to push the subject further and thus achieve PNT Superiority in joint operations/missions. In fact, PNT Superiority encompasses more than just the use of robust GNSS-based equipment or alternative systems. PNT Superiority also consists of knowing and dealing with the threat (e.g., monitoring, training, preparation). It is important to explore how to achieve an overall capability from currently available project deliverables and systems that can simultaneously deal with resilience, monitoring, and offensive measures.

Therefore, to strengthen national defense, the DoD, the research community, and national and international partners must work together to increase the resilience and robustness of the military, create new PNT sources, and find ways to target the use of PNT information. The envisaged project SENSOR is to evaluate the already available systems deployed within the GNSS testbed and to demonstrate their operational capabilities. In a further step, the extent to which Secure PNT can be implemented with respect to military operations will be investigated. This may be possible by combining several systems or by changing certain parameters. In order to prepare the GNSS testbed for future events also in the direction of Secure PNT Superiority, consideration must be given to how this can be integrated into the infrastructure. In order to achieve Secure PNT Superiority, the research and development of GNSS receivers has to be started. The requirements from the point of view of national and international partners for the GNSS testbed for the research and development of GNSS receivers will be worked out.

An outlook for the further development of Secure PNT Superiority will be elaborated in the form of a roadmap with prioritized development strands and associated requirements. The available infrastructure and functionality of PNT shall be prepared in an understandable way also for non- GNSS experts in order to support potential users of the MOD as well as to the critical infrastructure if required.

Federal Ministry of Finance
Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)