DHS S&T Releases Resilient PNT Reference Architecture, Conformance Framework Update
Monday, June 13, 2022 | Comments

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) published the Resilient Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Reference Architecture. The document incorporates modern cybersecurity principles to provide concepts and examples for building next-generation resilient PNT systems against current and future threats.

“The Resilient PNT Reference Architecture is a major milestone in advancing S&T’s cybersecurity-based approach to PNT resilience,” said Kathryn Coulter Mitchell, senior official performing the duties of the under secretary for science and technology. “PNT services, such as the Global Positioning System we may use every day in our cars, are a national critical function that enable many applications within critical infrastructure sectors. For example, timing information from GPS plays a critical role in telecommunications and is used for network synchronization. It is also used for certain protective functions in the power grid.”

The reference architecture builds upon the recently updated “Resilient Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Conformance Framework v2.0” by combining modern cybersecurity principles with PNT resilience concepts and techniques. The reference architecture also provides concrete architecture implementation examples that align with the conformance framework.

“Building resilient systems requires recognizing that even the best of defenses may eventually be defeated by constantly evolving threats,” said S&T Technical Manager Ernest Wong. “By applying cybersecurity principles like Zero Trust Architectures to PNT, we can design resilient PNT systems that can continue to function properly even under the assumption of compromise.”

The reference architecture provides a vision for a holistic approach to next-generation resilient PNT systems. Careful application of these concepts and techniques can produce PNT equipment that is highly resilient to current and future PNT threats and strengthen critical infrastructure.

Find more information on the architecture here.

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