Position, navigation and timing (PNT) services are vital for many public and private sectors, such as emergency services, defence, satellites and telecommunications. The loss of PNT services also features for the first time in the latest version of the National Risk Register, the external version of the National Security Risk Assessment (NSRA).The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) has announced a new framework for the resilience of position, navigation and timing (PNT). This builds on the previous Government work on PNT, including the 2018 Blackett Review Satellite-derived Time and Position: A Study of Critical Dependencies, and a commitment within the 2021 Integrated Review of Security and Defence to strengthen the resilience of PNT services.

In this Article for UK Authority, Managing Editor Mark Say reports on the new framework and its supporting key features, such as a new PNT Office, a new PNT Crisis plan, a National Timing Centre, an Enhanced Long Range Navigation (eLORAN) backup system and other proposed supporting measures.

Along with the framework, DSIT has also published a Technical Research and Analysis Report on the concepts in space-based PNT, which explores new approaches to delivering PNT services using satellites. The report covers GNSS constellations, orbit determination and time synchronisation.

The National Preparedness Commission recently published a report on the loss of PNT, prepared for the Commission by the Royal Institute of Navigation.  Preparing for a Loss of Position and Timing is an important and timely report.  It explores the vulnerabilities of PNT and potential mitigations of the associated risks.  Above all, it strongly advocates a leading role for Government in developing UK leadership in this critical utility.


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