On July the 16th 2018, InsideGNSS published an interesting article about the satellite-derived time used in Critical Infrastructures “Broad Effort Underway on Assured, Accurate Time for Critical Infrastructure”. The article focuses on the actions undergone by several US agencies to assess and address GPS-related vulnerabilities in the country’s critical infrastructures. It is relevant that in the US this topic is becoming more and more discussed in order to find viable solutions and backups to increase It is relevant that in the US this topic is becoming more and more discussed in order to find viable solutions and backups to increase critical infrastructures’ resilience.

This news highlights once again the relevance of FANTASTIC. Trusted timing for critical infrastructures is one of the three main use cases identified by the project. The analysis performed during the first year of the project revealed that GNSS-derived timing is critical in many types of infrastructures such as 4G/LTE networks, electrical power grids, communication networks for financial transactions and transportations. GPS is currently used for precise absolute timing, but the civilian signals are vulnerable to interference and prone to spoofing attacks. Spoofing can be tackled in different ways. Certailnly, countermeasures based on new antenna and receiver designs help to detect and mitigate some types of attacks, while the new Galileo OS-NMA signal further increases the protections against fraudulent actions. If you like to know the research carried on by FANTASTIC on this theme,  you can meet our team and hear our presentations at the following conferences:

ION GNSS+ 2018

ION GNSS 2018 Subsite Header

ION GNSS+ 2018 will take place in Miami, USA, from the 24th to the 28th September. Our paper Authentication by Polarization: A Powerful Anti-SpoofingMethod,WimDeWilde, Bruno Bougard, Jean-Marie Sleewaegen, Septentrio, Belgium; Alexander Popugaev,MarkusLandmann, Christopher Schirmer, Fraunhofer IIS, Germany; Daniel Egea Roca, José A.López-Salcedo, Gonzalo Seco Granados, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain will be presented during the “Session F2: GNSS Signal Processing in Degraded Environments 2”, on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 (Time: 1:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.).


The paper Dependency of power grids to satellite-derived time: vulnerabilities and new protections has been accepted for presentation at 2018 International Telecommunications Energy Conference, to be held in Torino, Italy from October 7th to 11th, 2018. The agenda is not yet available. This paper intends to increase the awareness on the problem of interference against GNSS receivers installed in power grids as timing source. Indeed, the paper will provide an overview on the power grids’ vulnerabilities coming from the use of GNSS technology and illustrate ways to increase the protections.


From the Broad Effort Underway on Assured, Accurate Time for Critical Infrastructure article:

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is part of the Department of Commerce, held a workshop in June on CI timing solutions and interoperability. NIST scientist and workshop chairman Stefania Romisch, called assured access to accurate time “the hardest problem to solve.”

“My perception,” said Betz, “is that timing is actually a whole collection of different applications with different requirements, different degrees of criticality, and so forth — and so you need to modulate what’s done based on the different subsets of the timing community.”

They also have an element of common sense, Betz told Inside GNSS. “For example we hear about the receivers that have a glitch when there’s a GPS week rollover or a leap second insertion. We hear about the receivers on those ships in the Black Sea that knew they were on a ship but they reported that they were in the middle of an airport tens of miles way. We think about the receivers at the ION (GNSS+) conference last September when a simulator was generating signals and they went back three years in time and moved 5,000 kilometers in a second.”

The $1 million question, he said, is determining what is really needed in terms of timing accuracy, service region (coverage) and an ability to resist threats.