Today, a large number of new applications, highly demanding in terms of positioning accuracy, would need to receive real-time differential corrections from reference stations that are 15 km or less far away. In this context, the density of the GNSS networks could become a key factor for the development of innovative services. Moreover, some new safe sensitive applications such as autonomous driving and drones’ navigation will need reliable networks of reference stations that shall be redundant and resilient not only to local spoofing and jamming attacks but also in general to cyber-attacks and emergency situations (e.g. earthquakes or natural disasters). In this scenario, the purpose of the GREAT project is the development, test, and demonstration of the next generation of low-cost GNSS reference stations: high-level performance but extremely cost-saving.

Currently, GNSS reference networks are costly infrastructures that need specialized equipment and high costs for installation and maintenance. For this reason, most of the public and private GNSS networks are not very dense in the European territory and much less Worldwide. The final goal of GREAT aims at the realization of infrastructures that bring the advantages of differential GNSS processing (both real-time and post-processing), in terms of precision and accuracy ranging from sub-meter (DGNSS technique) up to millimetre level (static differential processing), to the widest community of end-users as possible.

The objective is very challenging but also important, that's why GSA decided to co-found it. Spaceexe is proud to be the coordinator of a consortium composed of other 3 highly innovative SME (Yetitmoves, Teria and M3System) that can cover all the development and market chain for the exploitation of the GREAT project.

GREAT reference stations have several innovative characteristics with respect to the available reference stations:

  • They will be fully autonomous and infrastructure-less solutions (no need for wired power or wired communication)
  • They will implement OS-NMA anti-spoofing features
  • They will generate blockchain-based secure and traceable data flow
  • They will exploit IMU hybridization for the detection of abnormal movements, monitoring of vibration and to further improve the anti-spoofing capabilities

The device to be developed will be completed by a suite of software tools enabling the remote control of the instrument and a real-time check of the quality, integrity, and authenticity of the measures.

GNSS already plays a key role in the daily life of all European citizens. In the very next future, it will become more important, we can cite the following examples: pedestrian and road users navigations, mapping&GIS, fleet management, automated car driving, UAVs, infrastructure monitoring and/or agriculture. All these technologies will benefit from a dense GNSS reference station network for a better positioning and navigation experience in urban environments.  The GREAT business model foresees to provide low-cost Reference Stations, but also to have cloud-based high-precision processing services on cloud (as RTKLib or NRTK corrections for example), which can enable accurate surveying and mapping applications through third-parties apps. GREAT users can be also specialized SMEs or start-ups which operate into the survey and mapping market or more generically that want to enhance their applications and solutions with the added value of high-precision positioning.

For further information and to follow up on the project's progress, you can check the GREAT website or the dedicated Twitter channel.

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