Telespazio UK awarded ESA NAVISP Next Generation Network Assisted PNT Assurance contract

16 November 2021

Telespazio UK, a subsidiary of Telespazio (a 67/33% joint venture between Leonardo and Thales), has been awarded a development contract by ESA, the European Space Agency. 

As part of the ESA’s Navigation Innovation and Support Programme (NAVISP) to develop novel positioning technologies, Telespazio UK is excited to announce that it has been awarded the contract for a Next Generation Network Assisted Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Assurance (NG-NAPA) project.

NG-NAPA will design and develop a Proof-of-Concept demonstrator of a PNT assurance system to protect against malicious threats to Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS): it will provide PNT assurance through reference-assisted GNSS and Signals Of Opportunity (SOOP) or SOOP only PNT.

The reference network capabilities of the NG-NAPA will be enhanced by the Iridium LEO Communications system, 5G cellular phone signals and GNSS encrypted signals as potential SOOP to contribute to PNT assurance.

The SOOP will complement GNSS positioning in order to provide assurance to PNT users, especially when GNSS open services are disrupted. The system concept is adaptable for deployment at user terminals; moreover, it is suitable for both static and dynamic operation. NG-NAPA will be effective against malicious threats such as GNSS signal spoofing and its design flexibility will ensure that other SOOP signals can be incorporated in the future.

Telespazio UK is the prime contractor to ESA for the project (valued at €700,000) and will be working with a very strong and well-structured consortium, consisting of Thales Services Numériques (France), M3 Systems Belgium (Belgium), and Chronos Technology Ltd (UK).

Mark Hewer, CEO of Telespazio UK said: “This is a great opportunity for us to be part of this important ESA project which will build on the work that has already been done within the PNT arena. We are pleased to be leading such a strong team and look forward to developing a proof of concept that will help protect against malicious threats to GNSS systems, which will make a difference to our daily lives.”

Stefano Binda, manager of the ESA NAVISP Element dedicated to technology innovation, said: “I am pleased that ESA awarded this contract, under its NAVISP programme, to Telespazio UK and its sub-contractors. Telespazio has a lot of experience working on PNT and the provision of alternative and complementary solutions to GNSS. We look forward to working with Telespazio UK and its sub-contractors on this important project for the resilience of GNSS PNT solutions.”