The EAST project defines and characterises authentication strategies for EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service). The project created a set of viable solutions for authenticating EGNOS messages and signals, as well as a simulator to assess the performance of the authentication techniques.
Contract Number: 436/PP/GROW/RCH/15/8380
Duration: 14 months (Jan 2016 – April 2017)
Budget: € 290 445
Project Partners: Qascom S.r.l. (Italy), GMV Aerospace and Defence S.A.U (Spain), Università degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
Andrea Dalla Chiara
European Commission Project Manager:
EGNOS is the European satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS). It currently augments the Global Positioning System (GPS) in a geographical region over Europe. EGNOS transmits a data signal in the L1 band (1 575.42 MHz) that broadcasts integrity data and corrections for GPS satellite navigation signals. An upgrade to the current SBAS service is currently under discussion. This upgrade would provide a new dual-frequency multi-constellation (DFMC) service in the L1 band and also the L5 band.
The signals broadcast by EGNOS and its data, as well as any other SBAS service, can be subject of falsification. Since SBAS data is generally trusted by the user, wrong data can lead to a degradation of service. The computation of navigation solutions can also be strongly affected, and this can be done in a way that is not detectable by traditional techniques available for global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). This creates a risk for many SBAS users including civil aviation and safety critical applications. Authentication techniques could help mitigate this threat.
The project aimed to define and characterise authentication strategies for EGNOS. The objective was to develop a platform where different authentication approaches could be compared and characterised, with the intention of potentially including authentication features into EGNOS services.
The project carried out two main tasks:
Two main authentication strategies were proposed:
The outcomes of the analyses and the experimentation campaigns contributed to the derivation of a set of final recommendations. In general, the adoption of authentication techniques for SBAS are desirable and viable. They enhance the robustness of the service and open it to new potential user segments (in addition to the aviation community). In this case, several aspects should be considered including user needs, the standardisation process and a market analysis. The impact on the standard service is crucial as it imposes proper tuning of techniques and eventually the exploitation of new signals components.
The EAST project delimited the characteristics of viable authentication solutions for SBAS (specifically EGNOS) to protect the data and the signal. The techniques have also been simulated and their applicability proved, highlighting advantages and drawbacks. The analysis indicated a number of crucial points starting with compatibility with the standard service, and possible solutions have been drafted. Additionally, an analysis of the path to adoption was carried out. This included standardisation, realisation, maintenance processes and costs.
Disclaimer: The project results represent the views of the consortium. They do not necessarily represent the views of the European Commission and they do not commit the Commission to implementing the results.