Satellite Navigation for the Age of Autonomy

by   Tyler G. R. Reid, et al.

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) brought navigation to the masses. Coupled with smartphones, the blue dot in the palm of our hands has forever changed the way we interact with the world. Looking forward, cyber-physical systems such as self-driving cars and aerial mobility are pushing the limits of what localization technologies including GNSS can provide. This autonomous revolution requires a solution that supports safety-critical operation, centimeter positioning, and cyber-security for millions of users. To meet these demands, we propose a navigation service from Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites which deliver precision in-part through faster motion, higher power signals for added robustness to interference, constellation autonomous integrity monitoring for integrity, and encryption / authentication for resistance to spoofing attacks. This paradigm is enabled by the 'New Space' movement, where highly capable satellites and components are now built on assembly lines and launch costs have decreased by more than tenfold. Such a ubiquitous positioning service enables a consistent and secure standard where trustworthy information can be validated and shared, extending the electronic horizon from sensor line of sight to an entire city. This enables the situational awareness needed for true safe operation to support autonomy at scale.


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