PRS equals protection

The Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS) is an encrypted navigation service for governmental authorised users and sensitive applications that require high continuity. The GSA actively contributes to the development of all areas of PRS user segment to continuously respond to user needs, and supports a wide and secure use of PRS in compliance with the PRS Decision 1104/2011

What is PRS?

PRS is similar to Galileo’s Open and Commercial GNSS services, but with some important differences:

  • PRS will ensure better continuity of service to authorised users when access to other navigation services may be degraded (resilience).
  • In cases of malicious interference, PRS increases the likelihood of the continuous availability of the Signal-in-Space (robustness).

As a result of its signal and system design, PRS makes it more costly and difficult to attack its signals. Specifically, the service is more resistant to:

  • Spoofing, i,e. the transmission of counterfeit GNSS signals that may force a receiver to compute an erroneous position and lead the user to believe they are in a different location from where they effectively are. PRS also ensures that in such cases such authorised users as emergency forces, police and other relevant authorities retain the ability to serve the public using GNSS positioning information provided by PRS. 
  • Jamming, or the intentional transmission of radio frequency signals that can interfere with GNSS signals leading to a degradation or blocking of GNSS navigation and timing services. PRS reduces this risk and makes it easier to identify potential jammers.

Who is it for?

PRS is primarily intended for use by EU Member State government authorised users, e.g. emergency services and police. Access to PRS is controlled through operational and technical means, including governmental grade encryption. Users not granted access to the service will be unable to access any information from the signal.

PRS can provide support to a range of European public safety and emergency services, including:

  • fire brigades
  • health services (ambulance)
  • humanitarian aid
  • search and rescue
  • police
  • coastguard
  • border control
  • customs
  • civil protection units.

Key elements

The service’s end-to-end system design ensures the protection and availability of the signal and its associated data flows. Key elements in this design comprise:

  • Galileo Security Facility: this includes the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre (GSMC);
  • Ground Segment: this includes the Galileo Control Centre, which consists of the Galileo Mission System (GMS), Galileo Control System (GCS), Galileo Sensor Stations (GSS) and the Uplink Station (ULS);
  • Space Segment: Galileo satellites broadcast the PRS signal in space
  • User Segment: this includes individual end-users with PRS receivers and a support and management framework within in each authorised PRS participant.