Catapult and Ordnance Survey collaborate on GEMNet

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The Satellite Applications Catapult, an independent technology and innovation company, is collaborating with Ordnance Survey on the GEMNet project to understand the nature and extent of interference on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). The interference comes from a variety of sources including accidental emissions from radio and electronic equipment, as well as deliberate jamming by criminals and others wishing to block GPS trackers.

GEMNet’s ambition is to enable UK industry to create innovative resilient position, navigation and timing solutions. Its primary objective is to discover the extent and nature of GNSS interference, and support industry in developing appropriate solutions that mitigate the effect of this interference upon GNSS receivers.

GNSS constellations transmit positioning and timing data which are used for a huge variety of applications. GPS is the most widely used GNSS today; others include the Russian GLONASS, and the emerging European Galileo and Chinese Beidou. The system’s receivers determine location by using the timing and positioning data encoded in the signals transmitted.

Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: “The Catapult is delighted to be working with Ordnance Survey on this important project. Our Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) team working on GEMNet will make an important contribution to our understanding and response to the interference issues.”

The project has several objectives including:

  • Collating compelling and independent evidence of interference on GNSS receivers through pooling existing knowledge, as well as collecting data during the project
  • Developing an early understanding of the impact of interference on GNSS end-users
  • Engaging with targeted end-users and industry organisations to join future project phases

The Catapult will lead the technical developments and integration on GEMNet, and analyse the interference measurement results. Knowledge of these operational results will support focused industry and academic efforts to develop innovative threat mitigations and strategies appropriate to transport, critical infrastructure and many other applications.

Ordnance Survey is the operator of the national GNSS infrastructure (OS Net), and aims to have full awareness of the extent and nature of GNSS interference – both for its own internal use and other critical national infrastructures across the UK.

The OS Technical Change and Innovation Manager, Paul Cruddace, commented: “GNSS technology, especially GPS, underpins key parts of our own operations as well as so much of our everyday lives, this project will allow OS to better understand the potential external threats of both today and tomorrow.”