Security Technologies based on location

Background & Objectives

GNSS signal authentication is becoming a primary requirement for all the critical commercial and safety applications that rely on GNSS, from charging of road users to professional navigation, surveying, timing and law enforcement. The Galileo Commercial Service will provide the desired authentication, but the planned receivers will require security features that might increase costs and therefore limit use in mass market applications.

Why this project is important for EGNOS/GSA/SatNav?

STON will enable different GNSS and IT applications to increase the security of a position using a robust GNSS authentication scheme, with only a minimum impact on the users’ GNSS equipment.


The primary objective of STON is to develop an innovative GNSS authentication scheme, based on the Galileo Commercial Service that is affordable and usable in different markets, provides a robust signal and has minimum hardware costs per device. 

The innovative part of the CS-based authentication solution is that all the PVT computation and authentication verification will be performed server-side in a control centre, and therefore the device will mainly require only a GNSS front end to improve its security. The project includes the development of dedicated radio front end hardware based on the Galileo CS signal, embodied in a USB token. 

The technology will be demonstrated in the IT security domain, enabling the GNSS position to be used as a trusted location factor when accessing an online service (e.g. a bank website).

The demonstration is in line with STON's second objective - to increase the use of location as a way to augment the security and privacy of online information, providing an additional layer of security on top of existing ones (e.g. password). In this context, STON will include the development of smartphone applications that, backed up by the STON server, will provide location based authentication for online information. The smartphone application will be used with open GNSS signals by those mass markets where the strong GNSS authentication provided by the Galileo Commercial Service is not feasible.

How does it work?

In an IT scenario where cloud services are expanding, users wants to increase the security of their online data, allowing sensitive transactions only from predetermined and trusted positions. During the authentication process, a simple click on one of the STON devices will communicate the user's position to the server and grant access only if in a predetermined area.

Next Steps

The STON consortium will focus on the exploitation of the innovative GNSS authentication scheme in the IT security authentication domain as well as in different GNSS applications.

Alessandro Pozzobon
Qascom Srl
Via Marinali 87
36061 Bassano del Grappa (VI) VI
EUSPA Project Officer: 
Marta Krywanis-Brzostowska
Total Cost: 
568 301 €
EU Contributions: 
312 996 €
Project Call: 
FP7 3rd Call
Contract Number: 

Work performed & results

The project is in progress and results will be available towards the end of 2013. They will comprise a demonstration in the IT domain of a robust GNSS authentication scheme based on the Galileo Commercial Service signal, including the device (hardware front end or smartphone application), the server side GNSS authentication module and the location based authentication module.

University FAF Munich
Acorde Technologies S.A.

Updated: Oct 11, 2018