Alternative Space-Based PNT Data Layer

Current and evolving space-based PNT data layer services usually retransmit data computed on-ground, via satellite. Their architectures do not exploit the benefits that technological innovation in on-board processing could bring against new threats and challenges. The main objective of this project is to study new, innovative concepts and trade-off main design drivers for a PNT data layer system based on on-board processing, alternative to conventional on-ground computation-based systems, aiming to:

  • Improve SoL service performance
  • Improve security
  • Simplify system infrastructure
  • Reduce overall system lifecycle cost

Telespazio UK is the prime contractor, responsible for the overall project and technical delivery. This includes responsibility for:

  • Definition of high-level architectural concepts, with particular focus on the payload features and main constituents, identifying main functions and data flows for each component and performing main system trade-offs
  • Analysis of achievable end-to-end performance, studying the cases where improvements derived from alternative architectures are expected
  • Assessment of status of existing technology vis-à-vis functional and architectural needs, identifying areas for technology evolutions such as radiation-hardened space computer or on-board processing capabilities
  • Identification of potential improvements in robustness versus cyber-attacks, jamming and spoofing

The conclusion of the study will be the provision of a usable assessment of the interest in alternative architectures, based on on-board processing, with insight in the main architectural trade-offs and identification of areas where technology evolution is a prerequisite.