Study for a Resilient Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Backup Solution in Canada

Caroline Huot, André Châteauvert, and Jean Delisle

Abstract: Nowadays, maritime navigation relies increasingly on GNSS at all times. It has been so successful in providing accurate, continuous and reliable PNT information to mariners worldwide for free that they have developed a dependency on this service and take it for granted. For these reasons, it is important that this dependence does not become a single-point-failure. Many shipborne devices such as the Automatic Identification System (AIS), ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System), ARPA (Automatic Radar Plotting Aid) and other navigational aids onboard vessels use GNSS as their primary source of PNT information to navigate safely and efficiently around the world. A simulation performed on the CCGS Amundsen flagship confirmed these dependencies. As well, Canada presents its share of challenges being surrounded by 3 oceans with one above the 60nd parallel north where GNSS coverage is limited to 72 degrees. Together, St-Lawrence River and the Great Lakes form one of the most difficult waterways in the world to navigate safely with its deep-draft navigation system extending 3,700 km into North American heartland. Given the vulnerability of the GNSS signals to unintentional and intentional interferences, the increasing evidences of jamming and spoofing events has grown the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) concern to look into a resilient PNT backup solution to mitigate these vulnerabilities and provide a more robust solution to maritime navigation and if possible to other critical infrastructures. The Canadian Coast Guard is currently carrying a broad review of technical and operational requirements for an adequate non-GNSS alternative to provide PNT information in the event of GNSS disruptions in order to ensure safe navigation, North and South of 60 degrees. In relation to this study, CCG consulted its stakeholders on their need for a resilient PNT solution and their use and future needs related to DGPS. This review is also supported by an engineering study and an exhaustive technical analysis of existing and new potential solutions including hybrid solutions which could meet current and future navigation requirements with a special attention to the Canadian Arctic. Some of the technologies investigated include receiver resiliency improvements, space and ground alternatives solutions i.e. Locata, eLoran, Satelles Satellite Time Location (STL), Absolute Radar Positioning, Inertial Navigation System, Signal of Opportunity and the R-Mode technology, the latter which is being field tested in Canadian waters, in partnership with the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration, Germany. Requirements in terms of accuracy, integrity, continuity and availability from consultations with other federal departments, domestic and international marine stakeholders will be correlated with the conclusions found for the maritime sector. As such, recommendations from a consulting group, the C-Core and Hickling Arthurs Low Corporation, on the assessment of public’s reliance on GNSS, including the associated risks in relation to safety and economics impacts changes from 2012 to 2017 and recommendation on a resilient PNT backup technology for the 10 Canadian Critical Infrastructure (CI) sectors is also analysed. The outcomes of this study will inform the Canadian Coast Guard on the strategy to adopt and a roadmap implementation plan for a fail-safe positioning system for mariners and identify recommendations for the future of its current Differential GPS service. As the focus of this strategy aims to respond to the maritime domain requirements, a section will describe how the potential maritime solution also satisfies the PNT requirements of other sectors and critical infrastructures. In conclusion, the Canadian Coast Guard wishes to share the results of its work in order to stimulate the dialogue and debate, as many other national authorities may have similar concerns and interests with regards to GNSS backup solutions, the future of their DGPS service and Critical Infrastructures needs that will provide the best value for taxpayer money while ensuring the safety of mariners.
Published in: Proceedings of the 31st International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2018)
September 24 - 28, 2018
Hyatt Regency Miami
Miami, Florida
Pages: 1806 - 1816
Cite this article: Huot, Caroline, Châteauvert, André, Delisle, Jean, "Study for a Resilient Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Backup Solution in Canada," Proceedings of the 31st International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2018), Miami, Florida, September 2018, pp. 1806-1816.
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