A European Perspective for the Evolution of GNSS at Different Time-scales
Roberto Prieto Cerdeira, ESA/ESTEC, The Netherlands
Location: Pavilion Ballroom West
Date/Time: Thursday, Apr. 23, 2:35 p.m.
The demand for accurate positioning and timing in different applications with a high level of expectation from users is increasing. We are going through a technology revolution driven by autonomous vehicles and machinery, UAVs, Internet-of-Things, while at the same time there are increased concerns about safety, security and privacy. The new generation of mobile wireless networks, 5G, will not exclusively focus anymore on mobile phones / smart phones, but rather on all connected devices in different verticals (market segments). Safety-critical applications will be served with dedicated resources and features. There is no doubt at this moment that all that will be a turning point on positioning, navigation and timing, and that they will be a fundamental supporting feature of all those future applications. What happens then with all the GNSS infrastructure that already exists and has been growing exponentially in the last years?
For many years, GNSS for consumer applications was based on GPS single-frequency, and exceptionally GPS plus GLONASS. Recently, positioning with GNSS has experienced significant changes, including the advent of additional constellations such as Galileo and Beidou. To this we have to add the use of signals at multiple frequencies, including dual-frequency chipsets for mass-market, the ability to process raw observables in smartphones, the need for high accuracy augmentation by many more applications, the use of high and low-end hardware, the increased integration with multiple sensors, the need for security and integrity in other user types, etc… all this is the GNSS reality of today, and it is at the core of most positioning mass-market applications. It is well recognized that one of the main strengths of GNSS is that it is global, absolute, accurate, and free (requires no additional infrastructure from the operator). It is expected that GNSS will continue being a cornerstone of modern, ubiquitous, reliable, accurate PNT. On the other hand, and bearing in mind that two thirds of the world population are expected to live in urban areas around 2050, GNSS cannot turn their back to those users and will have to co-exist with other technologies. GNSS vulnerabilities in terms of reach and interference cannot be ignored.
This presentation will review the perspectives for the evolution of European GNSS in order to accommodate for this changing future, at different time-scales. Short-term evolutions are already engaged with minimal changes to existing infrastructure, including for instance Open Service authentication, an optimised navigation message, increased robustness and the addition of an Emergency Warning Service. Mid-term evolutions include the next generation of space and ground infrastructure, with increased flexibility, robustness, performance. This will allow the possibility of new signals and services. Ideas for long-term evolutions will also be discussed, including the need for a holistic approach on system design considering various space-based, ground-based and terminal technologies and sensors for any application and user in all possible environments. To conclude, a number of disruptive technologies for very long term revolutions will be presented.