Guest Blog: Finding our way in GPS Transformation


GPS Transformation

New levels of robustness, accuracy, and resilience in positioning, navigation and timing provided by the advent of multiple constellation Global Satellite Navigation Services (GNSS) offer truly transformative opportunities for many markets, both where GPS is a current feature and where not.

Funded by the EU, the Galileo constellation and associated service layers are in their testing phases prior to full operating capability, with a clear national and regional interest in finding strong market pull for Galileo’s capabilities.

QinetiQ has been involved in Galileo for many years, with world firsts in open and encrypted test signal receivers, as well as high performance GPS receivers for niche applications. QinetiQ’s principal interest is in the receiver technology itself, yet we recognise the opportunity for UK and in particular Wales to be a hub for Satellite Navigation technology, applications and services, which is where the Welsh Assembly and Software Alliance Wales’ interests join ours on what is a global stage.

Book your place at GIS Day WalesWhat could be achieved with routine centimetre-level positioning accuracy outside and even inside buildings for instance, receiver miniaturisation into flat tags or the robustness of location logging that is resilient to interference? In order for the transformational performance offered by these new constellations and associated receivers to be fully exploited, users and developers need to think about areas where these benefits will find novel application. These could be as far and wide as fisheries monitoring, autonomous systems, disability aids, logistics, sports and leisure, law enforcement, safety – there are so many applications where the benefits of next generation GNSS will be realised  by someone: your mission is to make sure it’s you!

Key performance transformations include:

  • 10-20cm accuracy becoming routine for low cost receivers
  • Greater resilience to jamming, spoofing and accidental interference - an increasing problem
  • Strong performance in densely built up areas (urban canyons) and inside buildings, with further assistance from other complementary services
  • Opportunities for much smaller form factors and power requirements
  • High dynamics performance – very fast moving, accelerating or spinning applications

There is no question that the world will see major transformative benefits from the advent of multi-constellation GNSS services and together Wales can lead the way in novel Satnav applications.

By Mark Stead, strategy lead, at QinetiQ 

On 13th October Software Alliance Wales, QinetiQ and Welsh Government hosted a joint workshop in Swansea entitled 'Next Generation Global Positioning'. The workshop addressed the major economic opportunities and challenges that are faced by this evolving technology and in particular what Wales and the UK can do to embrace these opportunities and face these challenges. If this is something you are interested then come along to GIS Day Wales in Lampeter on 19th November. To find out more and register visit