Project INSPIRE is building on learning from MarRINav and applying it to bring the recommendations and actions to life. The INSPIRE team is led by Taylor Airey, a leading independent strategy and operations consultancy for the transport industry with a portfolio of services that includes their much respected position, navigation and timing expertise.

The ESA funded INSPIRE project has cited the objectives of

  • investigating, developing and bench testing techniques and algorithms for autonomous user-level integrity monitoring
  • Building a prototype for EGNOS performance monitoring
  • Developing exploration plans for an e-Navigation service to provide supplementary integrity data to vessels

While the activity is focussing on current sources of PNT data and the maritime domain, the objective is to elaborate on solutions that will be capable of expansion to incorporate new data sources and exploitation by other domains.

The INSPIRE project team includes, NLA International Ltd, London Economics, GLA Research and Development, The Knowledge Transfer Network, CGI UK Ltd and Imperial College London.

To read more about the INSPIRE project and the team please visit the ESA website here.

MarRINav Phase 1 Overview – Webinar

Findings and insights from the Phase 1 of MarRINav are revealed in this webinar recorded in June 2020.

With thanks to the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation and the Royal Institute of Navigation.


Register for the next MarRINav webinar sharing project results


In 2018 the first-ever European Radionavigation Plan said “It is recognised that [..] GNSS should not be the sole source of PNT information. Alternative PNT systems, not necessarily using radio frequencies, should thus be put in place where the criticality of the application requires it.”One of the first fruits of this is the ESA-funded Maritime Resilience and Integrity of Navigation project, or MarRINav, recently completed by researchers in the United Kingdom.In 2019 the European Space Agency (ESA) published a permanent open call for proposals for positioning, navigation, and timing studies and systems, including those that had nothing to do with space.

“Maritime navigation and port operations are critical for almost every nation,” said Jonathan Turner, one of the MarRINav project team. “As an island nation with a strong maritime heritage, we in the United Kingdom perhaps have an even greater appreciation of this.” Turner is co-founder of the Blue Economy solutions company NLA International, which led a team of eight organisations cooperating on the project.

While MarRINav focused its analysis on the United Kingdom, the intent was to provide information, and an analysis framework, that could also be used by other nations.

Maritime is one of sectors most dependent upon Global Navigation Satellite Systems, according to the project reports, and one of the ones with the greatest awareness of GNSS vulnerabilities and their consequences. MarRINav concludes that integrity and resilience are two of the most important parameters for maritime navigation.

Maritime is also one of the sectors most ready to integrate space and terrestrial navigation systems, according to the report’s authors. The International Maritime Organization has already introduced a performance standard for a multi-system receiver, or MSR, that will incorporate a wide variety of navigation signals.

Despite the distractions of Brexit over the last four years, the United Kingdom has been particularly focused on its vulnerability to GNSS outages.

2017 London Economics report concluded that a five day GNSS outage would cost the nation at least $1.3B per day. It cited eLoran and Satelles as likely parts of the solution. The Government Office for Science released a Blackett Review of critical dependencies on GNSS in 2018.

In February of this year the UK government announced it was establishing a virtual National Timing Centre to protect the nation from the risk of GNSS failure, and in March the final MarRINav report was published.

Among the project’s findings are that:

  • The United Kingdom needs a comprehensive maritime PNT architecture with multiple, diverse sources to ensure continuity of maritime operations
  • Such a “hybrid solution” could benefit other sectors, especially if non-maritime needs were considered early in the design
  • New PNT systems should be terrestrial and sovereign
  • Establishing such a system for the UK has a very positive benefit to cost ratio
  • Important aspects of the new architecture are E-GNSS (Galileo and EGNOS), Enhanced Loran (eLoran) and the Ranging Mode (R-Mode) of the VHF Data Exchange System (VDES), and complemented by the development of a specific Maritime Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (M-RAIM) algorithm.
  • LOCATA or a similar local positioning system should be implemented at UK ports to provide a backup for container operations.
  • Satelles Satellite Time and Location may have potential, but its utility has yet to be demonstrated for maritime.

The Royal Institute of Navigation and the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation are partnering to present a Webinar about MarRINav on the 25th of June. Register here for “When GNSS Fails, What Will You Do? – MarRINav!”

All the MarRINav project reports are available.

Plotting the Course for the Future of Maritime Navigation

For centuries, mariners have utilised myriad assets to navigate the world’s seas and oceans safely. Compasses, radar, echo sounders, Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, signals, the ship’s whistle and the very skies above have all been used to navigate weather, geography and human factors to ensure safe passage.


Back in 2017 a concerned captain in the Black Sea faced a curious, but no longer, unusual problem. His navigation systems erroneously reported that he was 25 nautical miles away from his actual location. Thankfully, this potentially ruinous issue wasn’t exactly difficult to spot as the bridge equipment was attempting to convince the captain that he was actually at a land-based location near to Gelendyhik airport in Russia.


A simple case of faulty equipment? Not quite. It eventually became known that a further 20 vessels in the locale were receiving the same confusing information. As they would have used different GPS equipment, how could they all be witnessing the same anomalies?


The highly respected U.S non-profit the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation subsequently worked with maritime data and analytics company Windward Ltd. to explore the issue in greater depth. They diagnosed that the incident related to the intentional ‘spoofing’ of the GPS signal – someone had purposefully interfered with it to cause the system to provide incorrect location information.


Subsequent research in April 2019 by the Centre for Advanced Defense (C4AD) further underlined the prevalence of such disruptions, suggesting that 1,311 civilian ships had been affected in ten locations over the study period, with 9,883 individual incidents reported or detected, the majority of which took place in Crimea, the Black Sea, Syria and Russia.


Such possibilities present a severe threat to a system that is essential to seafarers of all types. Novel threats require novel approaches – so what to do to bring about new levels of systems-level resilience in marine navigation?


In January 2019 we began the MarRINav project, funded by the European Space Agency, we wanted to address the issues highlighted by previous work from the General Lighthouse Authorities of the United Kingdom and Ireland (GLA) and in documents such as the UK Government’s Blackett Report on GNSS Vulnerabilities and the London Economics report on UK economic impact of the loss of the GNSS. Our goal was to understand the position, navigation and timing needs of maritime operators, consider and analyse how current infrastructure met those needs and propose a credible solution to address any gaps in resilience or integrity.


From the earlier studies there were clear indications that many factors, including and in addition to spoofing, could have a substantial impact on many facets of life in the UK. A five day outage of GNSS in the UK could have an economic impact of as much as £5Bn with around 20% of that being directly related to maritime endeavours. Such figures are hardly surprising when you consider that 95% of goods are transported by sea and that some of the world’s busiest shipping routes pass through UK waters. Of course, shipping is just one slice of the maritime pie. The UK has seen an offshore wind generation capacity increase by a factor of eight over the past 10 years. Then there are considerations of the growth in aquaculture not to mention the appetite to explore and exploit the potential for autonomous vessels. UK sea space is busier than ever before and on a trend that shows increasing levels of traffic density, complexity and challenge.


The case for an in-depth review was clear, the MarRINav consortium was assembled and embarked on a journey of research and discovery that has revealed and documented a wealth of insights.


The first deliverable which qualified the maritime user need frames the whole project by describing the levels of accuracy, resilience and integrity that were required by a host of end users across a broad spectrum of marine, maritime and blue economy stakeholders.


Richard Greaves, MarRINav Project Director for NLA International commented: “As the UK EEZ gets busier and marine traffic relies more and more on technology, it’s essential that technology is itself reliable and failure risks are mitigated. Maritime operators must have confidence that their vessels are exactly where they think they are, and when. The MarRINav project has brought together experts from different disciplines and recommends an economic system-of-systems that will give them that confidence.”


Those maritime operator’s needs were analysed against current PNT infrastructure to assess and understand where there were opportunities to improve resilience and integrity. Deliverables two and three describe this work and the gaps and challenges that the current PNT infrastructure create across the maritime domain. This guided the project team thinking towards the technologies that could be applied, to varying degrees of success, in addressing those challenges. Deliverable four captured these technologies which, not limited to space based solutions, incorporated ship based systems, regional and wide area systems. Through this analysis it became clear that there was no silver bullet in a single system and that a system of systems would be required to best address all the challenges.


A conceptual architecture was produced within deliverable five with the integration of that architecture and an outline development plan to complement it in deliverables six and seven. This proposed solution was assessed by a cost benefit analysis which demonstrates a substantial and positive benefit to cost ratio, captured in deliverable eight.


The MarRINav project deals with both a complex and highly variable operating environment as well as a complex set of technologies, underpinned by rigorous scientific and mathematical analysis. To highlight the key points from the project and to make the outcomes accessible to widest possible audience deliverable nine along with several summary documents have also been produced.


All of the above deliverables and reports are available to view and download from this website.


The results in the MarRINav reports are now made publicly available and whilst they will inform a wide range of stakeholders, including UK Government, Deputy National Security Adviser, Department for Transport and the UK Space Agency, as well as the European Space Agency we also hope they will be a useful resource.


The MarRINav team will now move forwards to phase two of the project and test the viability of the solutions that have been proposed through the development and implementation of a testing and validation phase.

Professor David Last, World Renown PNT Authority, Presumed Lost At Sea


Just before 13:00 GMT yesterday a private plane piloted by former President of the Royal Institute of Navigation, Professor David Last, disappeared from radar and impacted the sea approximately two miles off the coast of Wales.

On-going search and rescue efforts have recovered pieces of wreckage and personal effects.

Professor Last was one of the most respected and well-loved figures in the world-wide positioning, navigation, and timing community.

His loss creates a hole that cannot be filled.

David was a close personal friend of many of the MaRINav team and a long standing champion for improved PNT. David will be sorely missed.

BBC report of aircraft crash.

Professor David Last CV

Registration for the MarRINav dissemination workshop, 5th December, BDC London

The MarRINav results dissemination workshop will be held in the KTN Faraday Room in the Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1 0QH.
Please proceed directly to the the Faraday Room on the top floor, as the main KTN office will be closed.

Context and Requirements

This report captures and analyses the maritime context for future Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) in the timeframe to 2030.

PNT R&I Technologies and Integration

This report reviews the broad range of options for R&I (Resilience and Integrity) PNT that have been identified in previous studies, analysing the potential contribution of each option.

Maritime Resilience and Integrity of Navigation

MarRINav consortium members Mike Fairbanks and Bob Cockshott FRIN explain the need for a resilient high-integrity PNT solution for maritime navigation in the UK, and outline what is being done to achieve this. This item was originally published in the Royal Institute of Navigation’s Navigation News and is reproduced by kind permission. For more information on the RIN please see