One area where Galileo is likely to have maximum impact is the Public Regulated Service (PRS). The PRS will provide a robust and encrypted positioning and timing capability restricted to governmental authorised users. Speaking at the event, DG Growth Head of Unit, Galileo Directorate Philippe Jean described the service and the access control mechanisms that will minimise interfering threats and so offer continuity of service in times of crisis. “The PRS signal structure has better resilience to jamming and interference,” he said. Jean also said that the Member States and the Commission are considering how to allow secure access to PRS by third-party countries.
“Active contributions from all the different stakeholders involved in PRS is required to ensure delivery of service to authorised users,” added GSA PRS Officer Marco Detratti. “Competent PRS authorities (CPAs) are being established at the national level, but to build trust, the system and equipment must deliver a truly robust service that grants unlimited and uninterrupted access worldwide.”
Every Member State that uses PRS must establish a CPA. According to French Competent PRS Authority Colonel Philippe Bertrand, the French CPA is part of an inter-ministerial department for defence and security. The legal decree to regulate PRS in France is in development, and he believes there is no doubt that the PRS community will come when PRS is available. “PRS is a diamond – a beautiful object – when it meets performances continuously and worldwide,” he concluded.
The German perspective came from Kai Herrmann from the German CPA, who agreed that PRS is a key technology for the digital society. He noted that Germany was collaborating with Sweden to prepare an area to demonstrate PRS. Salvatore Viviano of the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana added that Italy is committed to providing PRS users with effective access control and a high level of service continuity. He also promised manufacturers support for production and export of receivers and other equipment.
Perhaps the most enthusiastic promoter of PRS at the Summit was UK Space Agency Head of Galileo Policy Imogen Ormerod. “PRS is unique: the ability to have confidence in the signal is ground breaking,” she said. “If done right, PRS has unique and unchallenged potential and the opportunity to be the jewel in Galileo’s crown.” She further noted that although the future market will be extensive as there is no real competition, the provision of timely initial services will be key.