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

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bath
Department Name: Electronic and Electrical Engineering


The GPS system is currently the only fully-operational Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). Since its inception over thirty years ago applications for GNSS have grown enormously. What was once a system primarily used and affordable only by the military has progressed to the point where it is a ubiquitous technology whose use is now taken for granted. However, GNSS systems used for deriving position and time are now finding their way into applications where the outputs are required to be trusted. Knowledge of the integrity of GNSS is required in these applications in order that they are able to be relied upon. Such applications include: timing in telecommunication networks, operation of smart electricity grids, financial transactions and law enforcement. Integrity of service is required because GNSS is very susceptible to wilful, malicious and unintentional jamming and interference. Ever more sophisticated ways of deceiving GPS receivers into giving false position and timing information are being developed (known as spoofing ). These methods are being increasingly used to commit crimes (e.g., vehicle theft) and endanger human lives (e.g., misinforming emergency-services vehicles of their position on the road network). This project will research techniques that will detect, quantify and locate GNSS signal anomalies. This research is a key step towards a wide-area network of sensors able to provide a GNSS integrity monitoring service thereby transforming GNSS into a trusted-service for mission- and safety-critical application.Specifically this project will:1) Analyse the impact jamming on GNSS devices used for position and time. For example some applications such as telecommunications timing devices may be more tolerant of jamming than those where precision positioning is required.2) Develop algorithms, methods and equipment for the detection and characterization of high-level interference sources. Examples include radio emission from malfunctioning equipment and high-power intentional jammer devices.3) Develop algorithms, methods and equipment for the detection and characterization of low-level interference sources. Examples include low-power jammer devices emitting GNSS like signals.4) Develop algorithms, methods and equipment for the localisation of interference sources. The emphasis here is the development of low-cost devices that can be deployed in large quantities.

Planned Impact

This EPSRC grant is part of a larger industry-lead TSB project. Consequently much of the basic research that will be undertaken has a natural route to the market that is pre-defined in the consortium agreement. The most immediate beneficiaries of the research in this project are therefore consortium members. However, in the longer term the technology and knowledge developed in this project has the potential for further significant impact arising from the knowledge of the trustworthiness of GNSS. Enabling trust in GNSS will bring about many new applications particularly for safety critical loads e.g., navigation of large container ships in port and asset management of hazardous materials on the road network. Engagement with these user-communities will be ensured through the collaboration with the consortium members. Wider academic impact is foreseen in the area of radio interference jamming detection, that will be explored through various routes such as conferences and colleagues in defense-related industries. The techniques developed may prove useful where the policing of other bands in the radio-spectrum is important e.g., detection of illegal radio broadcasts and verifying radio transmitter parameters, verifying radio service coverage and availability. Likely end-users of this research include spectrum regulators Ofcom who have already expressed an interest in the project. Further benefits include the continued development of UK academic expertise in satellite navigation systems. This is an emerging area for the UK where there is significant industrial involvement with the development of the new multi-billion Euro European Galileo system. A major impact of this research is the training of skilled staff, in particular the PDRA will become a leading expert in the area of GNSS interference and jamming protection.


10 25 50
Description We have determined various ways in which GNSS systems can be affected by external interference sources and how these can be located.
Exploitation Route The techniques we have developed although targeted at GNSS frequencies and signals are generic and could be applied to police other segments and services in the radio spectrum
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Construction,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Retail,Security and Diplomacy,Transport

Description The IP from these grants has been licensed to a SME who sells products evolved from research and technology developed in this grant. The products are the CTL3510 and CTL3520. Similar IP is also used in Harris/Excelis Signal Sentry 1000 system. Details can be found here:
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

Description GNSS vulnerability awareness
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a guidance/advisory committee
Impact Changes to way financial services industry view the reliability of GNSS
Description Chronos 
Organisation Chronos Technologies Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Timing test equipment and advice
Collaborator Contribution IP under license, knowledge transfer
Impact GNSS jamming related products
Start Year 2008
Title Licence of IP used in CTL3510 and CTL3520 products 
Description Detailed RF design to allow cost effective and low power location of GNSS jammers. 
IP Reference  
Protection Protection not required
Year Protection Granted
Licensed Yes
Impact Follow-on funding