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Software defined Satellite Navigation Security Simulator Study

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SoN3S (Software defined Satellite Navigation Security Simulator Study)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2015-07-31

SoN3S has the ambitious aim to perform the technical and economic feasibility study of a new Software Defined Satellite Navigation Security Simulator that meets the emerging requirements of the market: interference testing, flexibility, frequent upgrade, low cost. SON3S initially targets satellite navigation security and then extends the same approach to other space assets.

Technically, the project has the ambition to find a viable solution for the following requirements:
- Development of a real time fully software simulator exploiting the computational power available in standard PCs, with performance comparable to low cost hardware based simulators
- Use of low cost USB hardware, from few hundred to few thousand euros, for the up-conversion of the signal
- Assessment of a framework for a space security simulator that will address different space services

Economically, the study has the ambition to:
- Find new software oriented sales strategies, including price and support
- Slimmer distribution chains with respect to the standard one of hardware simulators
- Find new marketing strategies to gain customers trust rapidly and globally
- Prioritize the emerging requirements to maximize the differentiation from current simulator products
- Prioritize the market segments and regions
The work has been divided into technical and business feasibility accordingly to the description of work.
The first business activities involved the market analysis of GNSS simulators, including the market size and segmentation, the analysis of competitors' products, the evaluation of emerging trends and new opportunities, the current distribution chain and the assessment of new user requirements. Afterwards the business viability has been performed working on the targeted user needs, the prioritization of market segments and regions, the assessment of value added features, SWOT analysis, innovative sales, distribution and marketing strategies. The business activities concluded with the defintion of a preliminary busienss plan and a tactical plan.
Technical feasibility had the objective to find a viable solution for the development of a real time GNSS fully software simulator, that runs in a PC and uses low cost USB hardware for signal up-conversion. The software must have similar performances if compared to low cost hardware simulators. Technical activities started with the state of the art in SDR and GNSS simulators and then, also based on user needs, proceeded with the prioritization of the features and the technology analysis of all the modules necessary to reach the main objectives. The study proceded with the technical feasibility including a high level design of the software comprising different scenarios, interference features, channel model, and software core design. A particular effort has been dedicated to the performance evaluation of complex and real-time execution. Proof of concept software have been developed to test specific perfomances.
The first result is the successful output of the technical feasibility, assuring the development of real time GNSS simulators with similar performances to low cost hardware competitors.
The second result is obtained thanks to the business viability output: a strong confidence that the product is feasible and profitable, and that a leadership position can be reached in this niche market.
The overall innovation has the ambitious objective to innovate the satellite simulation market, starting from the GNSS one, by introducing a new set of fully software, flexible and real time signal simulators. The value added of SON3S will be initially the satisfaction of emerging requirements, such as flexible GNSS interference testing, that are not covered yet by existing products. The global core market of satellite navigation itself is expected to be more than 100 billion euros by 2020. This represents an unique opportunity for an European company to grow in the simulation domain and lead a worldwide niche that is representing a key aspect of future GNSS and satellites.