Inside GNSS Media & Research

MAR-APR 2018

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10 Inside GNSS M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 8 T hroughout recorded history, mankind has acted on a need to determine and manage location and time. e art and science of those actions have been well documented over millennia. Within the last two decades, the acronym "PNT" has been adopted as shorthand for "positioning, navigation, and timing" to describe a collection of technologies that make location and timing information widely available for a variety of purposes. More recently, the description has been broadened into the "PNT En- terprise" corresponding with a number of other "enterprises" in the business and technology arena. But what does the "PNT Enterprise" actually mean? While position and time have been around since the beginning of time, as it were, the term "PNT" actually grew from the emergence of GPS in the early 1990s. e advent of GPS created an awareness of the value of being able to know and manage position and time simultaneously and with precision for a variety of purposes. Timing signals from GPS enabled precise and dynamic positioning and movement (navigation), and so GPS-derived PNT became the catalyst for dramatic improvements in efficiency for communications and networking, "just-in-time" military and commercial logistics, delivery of packages and delivery of muni- tions, and a host of other things. GPS service by itself was sufficient in most cases, and when integrat- ed with inertial devices and high precision clocks, satisfied even the most precise navigation purposes. Almost without thinking, GPS became the de facto definition for PNT – but that is now changing. Analogous to the internet, the nascent PNT Enterprise was born and grew up during a period of tremendous technological growth, and somewhat surprisingly, also a period of relative institutional naivety. Both the internet and PNT, nee GPS, are classic examples of dual-use technologies, of signifi- cant value to both military and civilian applications. Both started as military initiatives whose promise for civil benefits quickly led to their "release" into the civil/commercial arena without much regula- tory regard for the possibilities of misuse. Both saw rapid adoption for civil, commercial, and scientific applications around the world as their benefits were embraced for myriad peaceful purposes. Finally, GPS use soared aer a policy decision in 2000 to end the use of GPS Selective Availability, a protective feature imposed by the Defense Department on the civil GPS service which was politically unpopular and only marginally effective. It is not an overstatement to say that precise PNT via GPS has been incorporated, both knowingly and unknowingly, into every facet of our day-to- day lives. It is accurate, available, reliable, and free, and its use has been widely promoted by the federal government as the economic alternative to earlier federally provided services. PNT has become an indispensable enabler of human interactions throughout the developed world – and integral to national security. However, it has now become a target for misuse and disruption by those hostile actors who see and exploit the vulner- abilities inherent in the dependencies such wide- spread use creates. It is now so engrained into the fiber of national security and commerce that it must be made more resilient and resistant to disruption. Fortunately, the federal government undertook a study to look at a National PNT Architecture, underpinned by GPS but including many other po- tential sources of PNT information. Conducted from 2006 to 2012, the study produced 19 recommenda- tions, several of which became the foundation for the concept of a PNT Enterprise. One key outcome was a concept acknowledging GPS as a cornerstone, complemented by other available PNT capabilities. e National Architecture study in effect re-opened the aperture of PNT for the civil user community to include many potential sources other than GPS. With now growing awareness of the vulner- abilities inherent in over-reliance on GPS as a single source of PNT information, the concept of a holistic PNT Enterprise has emerged. e PNT Enterprise writ large encompasses governance, capabilities, ap- plications, and effects. It includes the sources of PNT information (global, regional, and local/natural and manmade), the means of distributing and regulating PNT information (as necessary), the applications and implementations that exploit various combina- tions of PNT information, and the effects generated by the use of PNT information. e idea of this all-encompassing PNT Enterprise is a necessary development to enable policy makers and decision makers in government and industry to understand its quiet but pervasive impact. ere are many challenges ahead in the rapidly evolving Internet of ings, in automation and autonomous vehicles, in ever-expanding applications of time and location for commercial, scientific, and military pur- poses, and the PNT Enterprise is embedded through- out. How the government reacts to these challenges remains to be seen, but deserves urgent, thorough consideration. THINKING ALLOWED The PNT Enterprise Where did it come from - Where is it going? JULES MCNEFF FOR INSIDE GNSS PNT HAS BECOME AN INDISPENSABLE ENABLER OF HUMAN INTERACTIONS THROUGHOUT THE DEVELOPED WORLD.

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