• Key dates

    Deadline for ITSNT registration:
    23 jun 2021

    Deadline for tutorial registration:
    15 may 2021
     Zak Kassas
    Ass. Prof., University of California, Riverside, USA
    No GPS, No Problem: Exploiting Signals of Opportunity for Resilient and Accurate Autonomous Vehicle Navigation
    The steady trend towards autonomous vehicles will come with a demand for full situational awareness and extremely reliable and accurate navigation systems. With no human in the loop, the cost of navigation system failure will be severe. Reliance on GPS for navigation has become a single point of failure. The recent uptick in cyber attacks on GPS (jamming and spoofing) have exposed the vulnerability of GPS-based navigation and demonstrated the necessity for a complementary navigation system.
    This talk will present a framework for resilient and accurate autonomous vehicle navigation by exploiting ambient radio frequency (RF) signals of opportunity, which are not intended as navigation sources. In this framework, specialized vehicle-mounted radios collaboratively draw relevant positioning and timing information from ambient signals of opportunity to build and continuously refine a spatiotemporal signal landscape map of the environment within which the vehicles simultaneously localize themselves in space and time. We will present an end-to-end research approach, spanning theoretical modeling and analysis of signals of opportunity, specialized software-defined radio (SDR) design, practical navigation algorithm development, and experimental demonstration of our system on ground vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

    Zak Kassas is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) with appointments in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. He received a B.S. with Honors in Electrical Engineering from the Lebanese American University, an M.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from The Ohio State University, and an M.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering and a Ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Since starting his academic career in Fall 2014, his research has attracted nearly $2.5M in federal grants from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Prof. Kassas’ research in autonomous navigation in GPS-challenged environments has been featured in dozens of national and international media outlets and received several awards, including the 2018 IEEE Walter Fried Award and the 2018 NSF CAREER Award. His current research interests include cyber-physical systems, autonomous vehicle navigation, and intelligent transportation systems.

    Matteo Paonni
    Scientific Officer, Joint Research Center of the European Commission, Italy
    New Concepts and Ideas to Improve the Reliability of PNT Services
    The European Galileo system moves clear steps forward towards the completion of its space and ground segment infrastructures, after starting providing early services in 2016 and with the plan to achieve the full operational capability (FOC) in 2020. Also the user segment is rapidly expanding, with the increasing introduction of mass market chipsets fully supporting Galileo in a constantly growing number of smartphones.
    In this context a strong need for R&D activities in the field of navigation signal engineering has been identified by various Programme's stakeholders. Considering the long process required for introducing new signals and features in a system that is already deployed and finds itself in the exploitation phase, early R&D activities become essential to investigate potential evolutions and new concepts to improve the Galileo signals and services in the short, medium and long term.
    The presentation will provide some examples of recent R&D initiatives in this context. In particular, technical solutions developed in the context of the Future Navigation and Timing Evolved Signals (FUNTIMES) project will be presented. FUNTIMES is a European GNSS mission evolution study funded by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 Framework for Research and Development. Main goals of the project was to identify, study and recommend mission evolution directions and to support the definition, design and implementation of the future generation of Galileo signals.

    Matteo Paonni is a Scientific Officer within the Directorate for Space, Security and Migration at Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Ispra, Italy. Under his position Matteo provides technical and policy support to the EU Satellite Navigation Programmes Directorate within the European Commission and also to the European GNSS Agency. Matteo's main focus is on GNSS signal design and optimization, GNSS compatibility and GNSS signal processing.
    From 2007 to 2013 he was a research associate at the Institute of Space Technology and Space Applications at the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich.

    Logan Scott
    Logan Scott Consulting, USA

    Towards a Comprehensive Approach for Obtaining Resilient PNT
    Precise positioning and timing is becoming ever more deeply embedded into worldwide critical infrastructure. In the civil domain, numerous attacks have already been seen and the sophistication of attacks is growing. A layered defense with flexible responses provides the best hope for meeting the challenges of maintaining required navigation performance under adverse conditions. 
    No single defense or offense, no matter how good, is capable of dealing with all threats.
    A comprehensive and integrated civil policy is needed that takes into account the nature of the threats, their motivations, their likely evolution, and the costs and approaches for mitigating them. This talk explores not only the technical countermeasures available to civil users but also the legal and social engineering approaches that can militate against jamming and spoofing. The importance of penetration testing is illustrated via real-world examples (e.g. Portland) of what happens when receivers meet a threat for the first time. It is found that effective strategies for civil applications are fundamentally different from those suitable for military applications. Specific and actionable recommendations at the policy, receiver and systems level will be made.


    Logan Scott has over 35 years of military and civil GPS systems engineering experience. He is a consultant specializing in radio frequency signal processing and waveform design. At Texas Instruments, he pioneered approaches for building high-performance, jamming-resistant digital receivers. At Omnipoint (now T-Mobile), he developed spectrum sharing techniques that led to a Pioneer’s preference award from the FCC. He has been active in making national policy recommendations for civil receiver certification, jammer detection and location, spectrum protection, and cryptographic civil GNSS watermarking features. He is a cofounder of Lonestar Aerospace, an advanced decision analytics company located in Texas. Logan is a Fellow of the Institute of Navigation, a Senior Member of the IEEE, and holds 41 US patents.
    Francis Soualle
    Airbus Defence and Space, Germany

    Perspectives of PNT Services Supported by Mega-Constellations

    Recent years have been especially rich in announcements regarding the development of so-called “Mega-Constellations” composed of several hundreds of spacecrafts, if not thousands for the most ambitious forecasts. The OneWeb constellation comprising 720 LEO-satellites, the Boeing or the SpaceX “VLEO” constellations with more than 2500 spacecrafts each are first examples for such large space systems whose list will certainly continue growing according to declarations and filings. If initially designed to provide communication services, following the path of the forerunners Iridium and Globalstar systems developed in the late 90’s, this new category of constellations could also offer other types of services. This presentation will therefore investigate how Mega-Constellations could support Position Navigation and Timing (PNT) applications.
    First, the main characteristics for such new space systems will be presented, either in terms of orbital characteristics
    (e.g. spacecraft number) or cost reduction due to a fully re-thought industrialization process. Then, focus will be given to the architectural and technological specificities of LEO-based PNT systems which could represent meaningful differentiators w.r.t. Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSSs) and enhance their attractiveness. Hence, Doppler-based positioning techniques already proven in operational space systems, such as Argos or Cospas-Sarsat, shall strongly benefit of the geometry
    (i.e. velocity) and the large density of Lines-of-Sight. By combining range and range-rate positioning techniques, the availability for instantaneous and accurate positioning will thus be enhanced. Next, the role of a LEO-based PNT system within the “GNSS landscape” will also be addressed, considering either the possible complementarity or independency of services provided by both system types.  With this respect, the case of the newly introduced Satellite Time & Location (STL) system, based on the Iridium constellation, and offering a global and resilient Timing and Position service will help supporting this discussion.
    Finally, the main architectures for LEO-PNT systems will be described with special focus on the primary and ancillary payload units, but also on the supporting ground segment infrastructures.
    Francis Soualle received the Dipl.-Ing. in 1998 in Digital Communication Techniques at Supelec in Paris. Since 2000 he works at Airbus Defence and Space GmbH. He is involved in the main European RNSS programs (Galileo 1st and 2nd generation, EGNOS V3). His main focuses are GNSS architectural concepts, Orbit Determination and Timing Synchronization, signal design and receiver performances.


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