New Galileo-inspired opportunities for Critical Infrastructures management presented at ITSF 2020

10 November 2020
With only 0,7% of the overall GNSS market, the Critical Infrastructures (CI) segment, is driven by its strategic importance rather than its size.
With only 0,7% of the overall GNSS market, the Critical Infrastructures (CI) segment, is driven by its strategic importance rather than its size.

The European GNSS Agency joined the global timing and sync community at the International Timing and Sync Forum (ITSF) 2020 to share Galileo-based applications for Critical Infrastructures.

The International Timing and Sync Forum (ITSF) is the largest time and synchronisation conference showcasing solutions for 4G/5G, Finance, Broadcast, Automotive, Smart Grids, IoT, Distributed Datacentres, and Transport and Defence. The European GNSS Agency joined virtually this three-day event to discuss the latest trends in Timing and Synchronisation and present the accurate and cost-effective solutions Galileo can offer to Critical Infrastructures users through newly designed services. 

Critical infrastructures management powered by Galileo

With only 0,7% of the overall GNSS market, the Critical Infrastructures (CI)  segment, is driven by its strategic importance rather than its size. Currently, telecommunications represent 90% of the overall CI market and with the arrival of 5G, shipments of GNSS devices are expected to soar. What’s more, new regulations require financial institutions to trace operations within a consistent and accurate time scale, while smart grids are replacing traditional solutions in the field of Energy. Built around these developments, Valeria Catalano, GSA’s Time and Synchronisation expert delivered a presentation highlighting the positive impact of Galileo in the market.

With GNSS taking center stage in the rapid evolutions of this market, and Galileo demonstrating superior performance in comparison to other GNSS constellations, the European GNSS Agency has been investing in Research and Development, and monitoring applications based on Galileo’s robust signals.

Through its Fundamental Elements R&D instrument, the GSA has been developing receivers, antennas and related technology to support the Galileo uptake. GIANO and GEARS are two Fundamental Elements funded projects that are developing Galileo-enabled timing receivers.

  • GIANO: The GIANO receiver will make critical infrastructures such as energy networks more robust against jamming and spoofing.
  • GEARS: The GEARS project will provide accurate and highly robust Galileo-based time and frequency data for critical infrastructures.

Protecting CI and their major components is essential to maintain vital societal functions. With this in mind, the GSA analysed the importance of the following categories of Timing Services based on the achievement of the H2020 DEMETRA project. The applications are of particular interest to Critical Infrastructures user as well as laboratories.

  • Time Integrity (dashboard): providing the validation and performance assessment of the timing information disseminated by the Galileo system. 
  • Trusted Time Distribution and Remote Audit: enabling the remote assessment of the client clock synchronisation and allowing the dissemination of UTC time and frequency over the Internet. 
  • Certified Time Steering and Monitoring: disseminating precise and accurate time using multi-GNSS Galileo-based Time transfer and providing real-time monitoring and certification of the time offset between the user terminal and the time reference facility.
  • Robust Accurate Time: offering robustness against GNSS signals, system failures (incl. jamming and spoofing) and against failures or attack on the communication network.

According to the GSA GNSS 2019 Market Report the resilience of the timing functionality is paramount in order to ensure service continuity in CI. Galileo’s Open Service Navigation Message Authentication (OSNMA) will be particularly relevant to Critical Infrastructures’ operators to improve trustability, resilience and ease of traceability. 

In addition, Galileo’s High Accuracy Service will provide network operators with a very high level of Timing accuracy, improving Timing stability. This could ease the deployment challenges and allow the development of new value-added services. To find out more about the Galileo High Accuracy Service (HAS) stay tuned for the upcoming Info Note.

Interested in knowing more about how Galileo’s T&S capabilities benefit Critical Infrastructures? Join us at the 2020 User Consultation Platform (UCP). 1-2 December 2020. The UCP - part of the EU Space Week 2020 - serves as forum where a wide range of users from 12 different market segments meet to confer on the requirements of location, navigation, timing and Earth observation services. Click here to register.

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Updated: Nov 19, 2020