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Rubidium atomic clock alexsl/iStock and courtesy of Microsemi

Security-Hardened System Protects Against GPS Threats

This new GNSS firewall provides continuous time-keeping and navigational services even with loss of GPS signals.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) and its companion Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) have become invaluable tools for commercial and military navigation and positioning around the world. So much navigation and travel depend upon GPS and GNSS that the potential of cyber-threats and jamming has raised the fears of possible GPS and GNSS outages. To quell those fears, the new BlueSky GNSS Firewall from Microsemi Corp. hardens the security of those satellite-based location systems against such threats, ensuring reliable, secure operation even against problems from spoofing and jamming.

For systems that rely on GPS clock management, the BlueSky firewall maintains timing integrity for GPS-denied environments. It supports a wide range of alternative timing options, including atomic clocks, to enable continuous GNSS operation even when GPS may be denied by jamming for extended periods. In addition to the firewall, the company is offering a new BlueSky option for its TimePictra software management suite to provide secure, centralized control of GPS signals across regional, national, and global geographic areas.

This ruggedized Rubidium atomic clock is an example of the reliable time-keeping technology that serves this new GNSS firewall, even with the loss of GPS signals from space. (Courtesy of Microsemi)

“At last year’s ION GNSS+ show we launched the BlueSky GPS Firewall Evaluation Kit to help customers understand GNSS vulnerabilities and how a firewall approach could provide protection,” said Randy Brudzinski, vice president and manager of Microsemi’s Frequency and Timing business unit. “We received valuable feedback from customers as a result of those evaluations and have incorporated new features in our second-generation BlueSky GNSS Firewall.”

In addition to its atomic-clock time-keeping functionality for security, the new GNSS firewall features expanded monitoring and reporting capabilities; it can operate in a GNSS-denied environment for more than 30 days. The GNSS/GPS uses the same principles of a firewall used for network security to defend against GPS threats coming from the sky. Incoming GPS signals are analyzed in real time for a wide range of threats before being allowed to connect to associated GPS receivers in a system or network protected by the GNSS firewall.

As an option, the firewall can be outfit with an internal rubidium (Ru) atomic clock in case of loss of those real-time GPS signals. Cesium-based clocks are also available as time standards for the GPS-denied system.

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