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NavWaC Aspects and requirements for a Navigation Warfare Center in Austria

Within the industrial research project, the aspects and requirements for a Navigation Warfare Centre in Austria are elaborated and the added value will be tested as part of a proof-of-concept. Thus, a further advance of the lead role of the BMLV in the area of navigation warfare testbed is achieved.

Space technologies, -data and -services have become an essential part of the daily lives of European citizens, but safety-critical applications in the area of national defence and internal security also depend on these technologies. However, the greater the dependence on Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT), the greater the risk of unintentional and intentional disruptions and interference. Space, or more precisely space technologies, have become a strategic field of operations, in times of peace and crisis, beside land, air, sea and cyber. The development of new as well as the modernization of existing Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), which started in recent years, illustrates this fact. The European satellite navigation system Galileo was developed, among other reasons, with the aim of being independent of other states (i.e. USA, Russia, and China) in the field of global positioning.

The goal of Navigation Warfare is the geographically limited disruption of (satellite-based) PNT information of an enemy, while ensuring the resilience of the own systems. The use of jamming transmitters in the civil environment is still mainly limited to jamming. However, since the use of GNSS and PNT will continue to increase in the future, it can be assumed that jamming and spoofing - the deliberate manipulation of PNT information - will continue to increase. Navigation Warfare would therefore also affect the use of navigation systems in the public domain and for each individual. The consequences of a GNSS interference attack are, in addition to a total loss of PNT capabilities, also increasing the own risk, collateral damage and leadership problems and were examined during research projects and successful demonstrated, among other locations, at the military training ground Seetaler Alpe of the Austrian Federal Armed Forces. This unique ability to perform GNSS interference test campaigns in reality and to develop new technologies and procedures based on the test results has given Austria international prestige.

The results of the previous research projects show that for a successful PNT attack, in addition to a deep understanding of GNSS and sophisticated algorithms, the capabilities of the target PNT applications must be taken into account as well. This means that not only satellite-based positioning methods must be considered, but also terrestrial methods and hybrid methods. This results in the need to assess the capabilities that Navigation Warfare has to offer in Austria in future, to evaluate the technical, organizational and economic possibilities and to develop a possible implementation strategies. During this industrial research project, the aspects and requirements for a Navigation Warfare Centre in Austria will be elaborated and the added value will be tested as part of a proof-of-concept.

The NavWaC project thus makes a significant contribution to ensure PNT services as well as risk management and countermeasures in the event of PNT disruptions. The topic of navigation warfare in Austria is fostered and strategies and procedures are developed with regard to a test environment. By using the Navigation Warfare Test Centre it is possible to test and quantify and assess the threats and risks in case of PNT disruptions and to test countermeasures as well as counterattacks. Even in mission planning, disruptions of PNT services can be simulated and tested. This makes it possible to train PNT users in a well-defined test framework using realistic scenarios and to train them accordingly and thus to provide protection against navigation warfare.