058 - Demonstration of GNSS position bounding using satellite uplinks

058 - Demonstration of GNSS position bounding using satellite uplinks


The number of miniaturized devices with satellite connectivity (e.g. asset trackers) is quickly growing, and with this, the need arises to provide reliable positioning information to those resource-limited devices. This is particularly relevant in growing asset tracking and user-charging use cases, in many sectors such as in railway (wagons and containers tracking), maritime (VMS, container tracking) and road (road-tolling).

Because of the open and broadcasted nature of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals and the physical and hardware constraints of these tracking devices (size, energy consumption, duty-cycled operations in un-trusted conditions), traditional Position, Velocity and Time (PVT) assurance solutions cannot be easily employed if solely based on GNSS,.

Satellite constellations may support device localization using the uplink signal. Even though sporadic and not very accurate, the determined location may be considered trustworthy, as it is performed by the system. It could therefore be used to bound the device’s position to a certain area, and this solution is especially advantageous for hardware platforms with limited energy resources and computing power. Uplink positioning shifts the processing burden from the user equipment to the infrastructure, where it can benefit from increased computational resources and advanced signal processing techniques. Moreover, PNT solutions computed by the infrastructure are less susceptible to threats such as spoofing and jamming. Masking or meddling with the device’s transmission will deny the service rather than tamper with it. As a result, uplink positioning enables context awareness and grants the user a certain level of protection against malevolent parties.

The combination of accurate GNSS measurements with trusted, but less accurate, uplink measurements is an attractive concept to secure PVT. In the ever growing world of navigation services, it is paramount to toughen and augment GNSS-based positioning services.

The objectives of the activity are to:

  • assess and demonstrate the feasibility of using satellite uplink measurements for position bounding;
  • investigate architectures and algorithms for enhancing trust of PVT by combining information derived from GNSS signals with satellite uplink measurements, and using the security aspects of the uplinks PVT solutions;
  • assess, in particular, improvements achieved by the identified solutions in terms of security / resilience / trust of the resulting PVT;
  • analyse application for specific use cases, as tracking railway wagons and containers/ maritime vessels, containers and oceanographic buoys (e.g. using VDE-SAT for uplink)

The tasks to be performed include:

  • identification of promising techniques and perform trade-off analysis;
  • assessment of the technical capabilities and limitations of current COTS components in supporting this technique;
  • feasibility analyses of the use of satellite uplink for PVT assurance in asset tracking;
  • design and development of PVT assurance architectures and algorithms based on the aforementioned concepts;
  • validation of the proposed solutions by means of simulations, laboratory tests and using measurements derived from existing uplinks;
  • benchmarking with state-of-the-art and assessment of achievable performance and security levels.

The main results of the activity will provide:

  • feasibility assessment and test results of a trustworthy and cost-efficient positioning service for remote nodes with limited connectivity;
  • breadboards (e.g. user equipment, satellite emulator);
  • roadmap towards prototyping, paving the way for industrial products, for instance through initiatives in NAVISP Element 2.