Galileo GNSS services as a game changer for safety use cases?

Galileo, an alternative to GPS

Intellinium has been selected among other 20 other innovative companies on the last Galileo GSA Call (December 2020). Galileo is the European alternative to GPS (belonging and managed by US), not only featuring GNSS location (including dual-band E1/E5 and SBAS) but also providing differentiating features such as NMA (Navigation Message Authentication).

Protecting and saving lives requires trust, speed and accuracy

NMA service can prevent GNSS spoofing and is proposed free of charge by Galileo. How does it work? A cryptographic scheme based on public/private key is used to sign each data sent by the GNSS satellite and received by the GNSS modem on the end-user device. The public key on the GNSS modem is used to decrypt and verify that the GNSS RAW data encrypted by the private key on the satellite side are correct and therefore can be trusted.

Galileo provides a more accurate and  trusted location and time for man-down feature

Not only NMA brings confidence in the LOCATION but also in the TIME. That way, when a safety event occurs, location and time can be trusted and offline decision can be made quickly.

NMA is currently under test. NMA services should be publicly available in Dec 2021. NMA support on the different GNSS modems on the market is currently very limited but we can expect that Q4 2021 will provide pNMA-enabled product on the market.

Leveraging E1/E5 and SBAS using a mobile app companion

Getting a GNSS fix is often considered by the end-users as a simple task: getting 3 or 4 satellites on view, compute and then give the latitude and longitude. But the real story is a bit more complex, especially if you want to provide a quick and accurate location.

You often need the following 3 extra conditions :

(1) 3 or 4 constellation satellites – In France, Galileo (Europe), GPS (US), Beidou (China), Glonas (Russia) and Navic (India) can be found on the sky. Use GPSTests (available on Google Play for free) to find what your smartphone can see.

(2) Dual-band GNSS – L1/L5 and/or E1/E5. It provides better signal immunity due to different band frequencies used to transmit the data.

(3) SBAS – Specific satellite signal that provide extra data for better accuracy.

As part of the GSA call, Intellinium has developped an Android-based service that is a background mobile app which can be “called” by the Safety Pod in case of a Safety Event (such as “panic button” or “man-down”). Our Safety Pod embeds its own GNSS modem but we do not provide yet dual-band GNSS and due to GNSS modem availability and product certification time, we will not provide the latest GNSS features on our Safety Pod. As a consequence, it makes sense to leverage smartphone resources when nearby our Safety Pods.