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Blackett Report on Satellite Derived Time and Position

Blackett Report on Satellite Derived Time and Position

Chronos Technology is delighted to welcome the long-awaited publication of the Blackett Report on Satellite–derived Time and Position: A Study of Critical Dependencies from the Government Office for Science. The report can be accessed via this link

Charles Curry, MD and founder of Chronos, and a member of the Blackett expert panel said “If you don’t have time to read the whole report, it is particularly interesting to read the Ministerial Forward by the Right Honourable Oliver Dowden CBE MP, Minister for Implementation. His comment is clear “It is in our national interest, as this report makes clear, that we recognise the precise nature and extent of our dependence on GNSS. We must take steps to increase the resilience of our critical services in the event of GNSS disruption, including by adopting potential back-up systems where necessary.” This links well to Recommendation 6 in the Executive Summary “CNI operators should make provision – with guidance from NCSC and CPNI – for the loss of GNSS by employing GNSS-independent back-up systems”. This in turn should be read alongside the first item in Chapter 4: Mitigations – Services Independent of GNSS about the enhanced Loran system.

There is a clear message here which UK Government should now address. Funding should be made available for the running of a new eLoran service to deliver GNSS independent time and position for CNI applications. This has to be done at Government level and cannot be left to private industry to safeguard important national infrastructure. Industrial positioning, navigation and timing users will only commit to using a technology if it has Government funding for in excess of 10 years assured service.

Cyber security is presently in the news with recent articles stating that Organisations dealing with infrastructure that have failed to prepare for assaults will be penalised in the event of an attack. Offenders face fines of up to £17m for weak defences or failing to notify regulators about cyber-attacks. The Digital Minister Margot James was quoted as saying that: “We want our essential services and infrastructure to be primed and ready to tackle cyber-attacks and be resilient against major disruption to ¬services. We are setting out new and robust cyber security measures to help ensure the UK is the safest place in the world to live and be online.”

As new measures are being put in place for cyber security to protect CNI, we ask the question what is the difference between a cyber-attack over the internet vs a cyber-attack via GNSS jamming? The damage is the same. A clear message for the Government to address with some urgency, as outlined in this Blackett report, which in principle calls for a national infrastructure project of massive significance.

Chronos Technology Limited is a leading international authority on GNSS vulnerability detection and mitigation solutions; and resilient synchronisation and timing solutions for CNI including use of GNSS, PTP and NTP.

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