The two GLONASS stumbles in May prompted industry leaders to again promote multi-GNSS user equipment and the development of of reliable back-up/redundant positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) systems to cope with potential drop-outs of space-based services due to jamming, unintentional interference, spoofing, or other disruptions. But neither multi-GNSS nor back-up/alternative PNT fully exists at this time, effectively for all users. When will reliable, robust, consistent, and continuous positioning become a reality?
The two concepts of multi-GNSS, at both high-precision and mass-market levels, and alternative, non-space-based PNT, will come into widespread availability sometime over the next five to 15 years — that much can be assumed with a degree of confidence. But more precision as to when is completely lacking, and the uncertainty affects product design and life-cycles, and user decisions on equipment purchase.
Should manufacturers and users rely on whatever technology we currently possess until the perfect system comes available, or should they continuously upgrade at each iterative step along the way?
I will moderate an expert panel discussion this week, featuring informed viewpoints from GNSS high-precision and mass-market manufacturing, signal simulation, and alternative PNT providers. Visit www.gpsworld.com/webinars to register for this free, insightful presentation. The webinar takes place Thursday, June 5, at 10 a.m. Pacific time / 1 p.m. Eastern U.S. Time / 5 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time.
Alan Cameron, group publisher, GPS World and Geospatial Solutions
Cameron was recently promoted to publisher of two North Coast Media brands. He was previously editor-in-chief and publisher of GPS World magazine, where he has worked since 2000. He also writes the monthly GNSS System Design & Test e-mail newsletter and the Wide Awake blog, both of which can be found on this site.
Steve Ault has 13 years of experience in the GNSS market, having previously worked for Magnavox and Leica in the 1990s before joining NavCom in late 2006. He has also worked on a wide variety of radio-based technologies dating back to the early 1980s, which include cellular phone infrastructure, VSAT systems, and military command and control communications systems. Steve holds a B.S. in Business Management and is a six-year veteran out of the U.S. Air Force. He is currently the product manager for NavCom Technologies and oversees all of NavCom’s marketing activities.
John Pottle is marketing director at Spirent’s Positioning Technology division, based in the UK. Spirent leads the world in enabling its customers to build robust, resilient, positioning, navigation and critical infrastructure systems. Before joining Spirent, Mr. Pottle spent 12 years in satellite communications and broadcasting, first with BT International in London and later with Intelsat in the USA. Mr. Pottle holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Engineering and an MBA. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering Technology and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation.
Philip Mattos was the chief architect of STMicroelectronics GPS/GNSS chipsets since a software receiver in the 1980s and dedicated silicon from the early ’90s, adding Galileo, GLONASS and BeiDou. He is now a consultant to chip manufacturers and agencies. He holds Masters degrees in electrical engineering from Cambridge and telecomms and computer science from the University of Essex, was awarded an external Ph.D. on his GPS work from Bristol University, where he is a Research Fellow, and is a visiting professor at University of Westminster. He has contributed to the design of the Galileo system for many years, and continues to advise on its future evolution.
Paul Benshoof is currently the Global Business Development Manager of Locata Corporation, a company that has invented terrestrial positioning networks which function as local ground-based replicas of GPS, fully capable of providing accurate PNT in user-defined regions. He spent the last 22 years working in GPS with duties that include procuring military GPS receivers, developing assets to support navigation warfare advanced technology demonstrations, supervising international test programs for NATO and allied forces, coordinating guidance and navigation test & evaluation infrastructure improvement programs, and directing GPS Test Center of Expertise.