Design

Microchip releases major update to BlueSky GNSS Firewall

2nd July 2020
Alex Lynn

Critical infrastructure systems including power utilities, financial services, mobile networks and transportation rely on Global Positioning System (GPS)-delivered timing to ensure ongoing operations. Microchip Technology has announced the release of a major software update for its BlueSky GNSS Firewall product, providing a higher level of resiliency against GPS vulnerabilities for systems dependent on GPS signal reception. 

Microchip’s BlueSky GNSS Firewall Software Release 2.0 performs real-time analysis to detect jamming and spoofing for protecting reception of the GPS signal and hardening response and recovery to avoid signal disruption. BlueSky GNSS Firewall Software Release 2.0 includes charting and advanced threshold settings of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) observables such as satellites-in-view, carrier-to-noise, position dispersion, phase time deviation and radio frequency (RF) power level to simplify system turn-up and deployment.

BlueSky GNSS Firewall Software Release 2.0 includes improvements developed by Microchip as a result of participation in an industry live-sky testing event hosted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate and open to all providers. Microchip’s participation in the DHS-hosted GPS Testing for Critical Infrastructure (GET-CI) events, with scenarios including spoofed signals, has helped the company to identify new solutions to prevent signal disruptions. As a result of 2019 live-sky testing and other input, Microchip developed the Blue Sky GNSS Firewall Software Release 2.0 to address operators’ evolving requirements.

Microchip continuously innovates GPS signal reception security technologies for commercial and military operators similar to how network firewalls protect against virus threats. Updates are essential to defend against rapidly-evolving GNSS disruptions and enable critical infrastructure operators to avoid interruptions of service.

Microchip’s BlueSky GNSS Firewall Software Release 2.0 is provided as part of a subscription service and is installed on the BlueSky GNSS Firewall device. When connected to Microchip’s TimePictra management software, critical infrastructure operators also can monitor and analyse GNSS signals in cities, across geographic regions, throughout a country and even globally.

Other complementary devices and software in Microchip’s suite of GPS systems and services include the TimeProvider 4100 Precise Timing Grandmaster with Gateway Clock, SyncServer 600/650 timing and frequency instrument, miniature atomic clock (MAC), Time Cesium and 5071A cesium primary frequency standard.

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