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The EGALITE project consolidated the definition of an EGNOS and Galileo Timing Service. It reviewed the concept starting from previous Horizon 2020 projects and incorporated new features to improve service robustness.
Contract Number: Call for Tenders No 634/PP/GRO/RCH/17/9877
Project Segment: Horizon 2020
Duration: 12 months
Budget: €328 000
Project Partners: GMV (Spain), VVA (Italy), PTB (Germany), ORB (Belgium)
Javier Fidalgo, GMV
European Commission Project Manager:
Antonio Danesi (Technical Advisor to the European Commission)
Timing capabilities are an inherent feature of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). EGNOS and Galileo provide timing capabilities within their current services. While timing is a small market when it comes to the number of GNSS receivers used for timing compared to receivers used for other applications, it is a key aspect when it come to the control of critical infrastructure like energy, finance and telecommunications. As a result, it is of strategic relevance for the entirety of European economic infrastructure (critical infrastructure).
In addition to those strategic sectors, timing is also used in several other sectors such as metrology, remote sensing, atmospheric research, autonomous transport, industry and the Internet of things (IoT), science and research, defence, and space applications.
The timing capability of GNSS is important enough to categorise it as a proper service in itself and the European Commission has taken steps on the definition of a timing service for both EGNOS and Galileo.
The EGALITE project consolidated the definition of an EGNOS and a Galileo Timing Service. It reviewed the concept starting from previous Horizon 2020 projects and incorporated new features to improve service robustness.
In addition, the project reviewed the overall picture of legal time across Europe and analysed what would be needed to make Galileo (or EGNOS) reference time a potential source of legal time.
Following a critical review of previous work, the EGALITE project had to define two independent timing services based on EGNOS and Galileo. These services had to match the needs of European timing users, with the main focus being on critical infrastructure. In the scope of this project, additional features for the timing services were analysed. These included:
- integrity for timing services based on EGNOS
- integrity for timing services based on Galileo
- high accuracy timing
- legal time across Europe
Cost-benefit analyses were requested to evaluate the impact for different timing user communities.
Finally, a full set of mission requirements to define the timing services of EGNOS and Galileo, including new features, was requested.
Starting from a critical analysis of previous work, the project expanded the definition of a proper timing service based on Galileo and EGNOS with the addition of a dedicated timing integrity feature, analyses of high accuracy timing, and a legal traceability service option. Aspects of standardisation and certification for EGNSS timing receivers were also included in the analysis.
Through consultation with the GNSS timing user community, EGALITE identified the need, at least for critical infrastructure applications, to enhance the reliability and robustness of GNSS timing solutions. A target failure probability for the timing solution in the order of 10-5 per hour was selected as a top safety requirement for critical infrastructure.
To validate the proposed integrity feature, EGALITE delivered a comprehensive GNSS timing safety analysis where the single and aggregated sources of timing failure were identified, their probabilities estimated, and mitigations proposed. With a combination of Time Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (T-RAIM), calibration and certification (to be based on a timing receiver standard) of the receiver, and the new proposed timing integrity feature, the target was shown to be feasible.
Finally, EGALITE delivered a complete set of mission requirements for Galileo and EGNOS, fully defining the new features at mission level.
EGALITE—EGNOS and Galileo Timing Service Extension and Consolidation Report
The mission requirements for both Timing Services derived in this project will be taken into account as part of the definition of the Galileo and EGNOS evolutions.
The strong benefits of the standardisation and certification of timing receivers was also identified and deemed worth pursuing.
Furthermore, the project indicated that legal time could potentially be based on Galileo and EGNOS reference times, providing that traceability to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is properly ensured.
Disclaimer: The project results represent the views of the consortium. They do not necessarily represent the views of the European Commission and they do not commit the Commission to implementing the results.