ION Alberta In-person Meeting – Friday, 26 July 2024

Title: GNSS Authentication: System-Side Contributions to Anti-Spoofing

Speaker: Cillian O’Driscoll

Spoofing is a growing threat to Global Navigation Satellite Systems, and one that is becoming more prevalent with the changing geopolitical landscape. The vulnerability of GNSS to spoofing arises from a number of root causes. Firstly, civil GNSS signals have no protections against malicious regeneration: any sufficiently capable adversary can re-create perfectly valid GNSS signals conformant with their (publicly available) specifications. Secondly, GNSS signals are extremely weak, coming from tens of thousands of kilometres away, and so are easily overpowered by stronger signals generated on the ground. Thirdly, spoofing has traditionally been seen as the preserve of nation state actors, since the cost and complexity of building a functioning spoofer were both seen as beyond the scope of anyone less well-resourced. Unfortunately, this last assumption is certainly no longer valid, particularly given the widespread availability of low cost hardware capable of broadcasting arbitrary signal waveforms at RF frequencies, including those used by GNSS systems.

To improve robustness against spoofing attacks requires both system and receiver side efforts. In this talk, we will discuss the introduction of authentication concepts to GNSS signals and navigation messages as a mechanism for improving resilience against spoofing attacks. We will provide an introduction to the general concepts of authentication, how these concepts apply in the GNSS context, and the implications for both receiver manufacturers and downstream navigation product consumers. Finally, we will discuss in detail the authentication features being introduced in the Galileo system, in particular Open Service Navigation Message Authentication (OSNMA) and the Commercial Authentication Service (CAS), and also the proposed Chips and Message Robust Authentication (CHIMERA) scheme under consideration for inclusion in GPS.

Cillian O’Driscoll received his M.Eng.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University College Cork, Ireland. Following this he spent four years as senior research engineer with the Position, Location and Navigation (PLAN) group at the Department of Geomatics Engineering in the University of Calgary.

He was with the European Commission from 2011 to 2013, first as a researcher at the Joint Research Centre in Italy, and later as a policy officer with the European GNSS Programmes Directorate in Brussels.

Since 2014 he has been working as an independent consultant in GNSS signal processing, working for clients including the European Commission and the European Space Agency as well as a number of commercial companies. Since 2017 he has been heavily involved in work on the Galileo authentication features.

Location: Room 207 – Engineering Block G (ENG), University of Calgary Campus

Date: Friday, July 26, 2024

Time: Doors will open at 11:30am, presentation beginning at noon
Cost: $20 non-members, $18 members, $15 students, includes a light lunch and refreshments. All proceeds go towards two annual scholarships for students attending the University of Calgary

ION Alberta Intro to Orienteering Clinic – Saturday May 14, 2022

For a change from 2 years of virtual meetings, on Saturday May 14, 2022 the ION Alberta Section participated in an introduction to the sport of orienteering that was hosted by the Foothills Wanderers Orienteering Club. Eight members spent two hours on Saturday morning learning how to read maps and run between waypoints. No GPS allowed! Timing is managed by a set of RFID readers with synchronized clocks. The club hosts weekly evening events on Wednesdays.