The new Galileo PRS global navigation satellite system receiver unaffected by interference

The Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI) at the National Land Survey (NLS) is among the first to have developed a GNSS (global navigation satellite system) receiver capable of PRS reception. Public regulated service, or PRS, is a service included in the Galileo GNSS system. PRS provides security authorities, such as law enforcement and emergency services, with dependable positioning information. PRS is affected less by intentional or unintentional interference and spoofing, i.e. false signals intended to deceive, than other satellite positioning signals.

Galileo is a European satellite navigation system, which will be fully operational in 2020. Galileo offers four services. One of these is an ordinary open global satellite positioning signal that can be used by anyone and another is an encrypted PRS signal intended for governmental users. The encryption means that it is difficult to spoof a PRS receiver into calculating a faulty position.

GNSS receivers used in positioning research

– During the last four years we have been developing our software-based GNSS receiver. It has become a flexible tool for analysing how best to process signals from GPS and other satellite systems. Now our receiver can also process PRS signals. We are among the first organisations in the world to do this, says NLS Senior Research Scientist Stefan Söderholm, whose specialisation is GNSS signal processing.

– Currently we are studying and evaluating the performance of and opportunities offered by the PRS signal.

Cooperation with FICORA

NLS, the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) and Finnish security authorities co-operate closely. The space department of the IT services company CGI in the Netherlands has also participated in the project. The research has been financed by the European Space Agency ESA.

Senior Specialist Jari Hänninen of FICORA welcomes the breakthrough of the FGI:

– At the FGI, work on digital signal processing has been done in the long term with excellent results.

– FICORA is the appointed competent PRS authority (CPA) of Finland. It is responsible for constructing the Finnish implementation of PRS service and for organising e.g. the distribution of encryption keys needed for the use of PRS to the appropriate authorities. The accumulation of satellite navigation knowledge in FGI will be of great help to FICORA when it promotes and guides the use of PRS in Finland, says Jari Hänninen.

More information

At the National Land Survey

Senior Research Scientist Stefan Söderholm, +358 50 568 9060, firstname.lastname@nls.fi

At the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority

Senior Specialist Jari Hänninen, +358 29 539 0476, prs@viestintavirasto.fi