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Improving the safety and security of positioning, navigation and timing solutions for location based applications and critical infrastructure such as airports, harbours and communication networks

Lydbrook, Gloucestershire, UK, 9 December 2010 – Chronos Technology is leading a Consortium, SENTINEL, which is a 24 month project to research and develop a service to establish the extent to which global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) – in particular GPS and Galileo and/or eLoran Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) signals can be trusted by users on a 24x7 basis.

SENTINEL will research the detection, quantification and location of interference to GNSS and eLoran signals at point of use by deploying IDM (Interference, Detection & Mitigation) probes in the vicinity of critical infrastructure. Detecting and discriminating between accidental, deliberate and natural phenomena including multipath, jamming or space weather to protect safety, mission-critical, security or revenue generating services, enabled by PNT signals A SENTINEL network of IDM probes will provide real-time alerts to discriminate natural events and enable the location of deliberate jamming and to provide timely detection and mitigation by the appropriate agencies.

Chronos will be partnered by the following UK organizations:

  • ACPO-ITS –  A Working Group of the Association of Chief Police Officers with links to other agency partners
  • GLA – General Lighthouse Authorities
  • OS – Ordnance Survey
  • NPL – National Physical Laboratory, Timing Metrology Division
  • UoB – University of Bath, Electronic & Electrical Engineering Faculty
  • Thatcham – Vehicle Security

ACPO ITS provide the links to and support of key UK Government agencies including CPNI – Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, and OFCOM – The Independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries. The Police service, represented in this project by ACPO ITS together with GLA have a remit to safeguard the safety and security of the public, including protection of critical national infrastructure including roads, railways, harbours and airports. This will leverage current research undertaken by the Chronos led Technology Strategy Board funded “GAARDIAN” project and bring actual user-community deployment experience together with further R&D capability to the consortium.

SENTINEL will include:

  • The first detailed multimodal analysis using continuous monitoring to explore the nature and extent of GNSS and eLoran interference which might compromise trusted services.
  • Research into techniques for real-time detection, characterisation, discrimination and location of natural and deliberate interference phenomena and threats enabling trust by ensuring system integrity is not discredited with false alarms.

SENTINEL, which is funded by The Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, will deploy trial GNSS interference detection probes in a controlled manner to research a service to address the detection of deliberate or accidental signal jamming and also to detect, quantify and discriminate between interference and natural phenomena and assess the impact of unusual multipath in the vicinity. Simultaneously, the probes will quantify the quality of the UK eLoran signal as a complementary PNT signal to GPS. Innovative techniques will be used to locate, quantify and detect the threat so that service providers can understand and interpret the problem and develop a more effective trusted service. This research is critical to developing effective strategies to respond to deliberate interference attacks as well as building confidence in existing signals.  Currently organisations have little knowledge about the overall threat from deliberate jamming, interference or the 24x7 reliability of signals, whilst responding to such attacks requires justification and resourcing.  This is an increasing risk as PNT services are further relied upon not only in the security and emergency services but also commercially in the increasingly GNSS-enabled world.

Charles Curry, Managing Director of Chronos said “The SENTINEL project is an excellent example of industry working with academia and the GNSS user community. This collaboration has its roots in the GAARDIAN project – also a Technology Strategy Board grant aided R&D activity. GAARDIAN is focusing on developing specific techniques for the 24x7 localised analysis of GPS and eLoran signals. SENTINEL will take GAARDIAN forward to real world deployment scenarios to research, verify and pinpoint the nature and extent of jamming where there is a threat to national security, public safety and the day to day operation of national infrastructure.”  

Chronos Technology is an ISO9001:2008 specialist technology company in the field of position navigation and timing.  Chronos is the largest supplier of telecom timing infrastructure to the UK’s wireline and wireless operators, many of whom rely on GPS signals for precise timing. Chronos also supplies specialist GNSS (GPS) products and solutions for equipment designers whose products are used in industrial and safety/mission critical applications.  Chronos develops a range of bespoke GPS timing products for time and frequency synchronisation in power and communication systems and is a specialist provider of technical solutions for time and timing across a wide range of industrial applications.

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the government.  Its role is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life.  It is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).  For further information please visit www.innovateuk.org.

SENTINEL: GNSS SErvices Needing Trust In Navigation, Electronics, Location & timing

For more information and photographs please contact:

Louise Davies
Chronos Technology Limited
Tel: +44 (0)1594 862200
Email: