News Item

Impact of disruption to GNSS

A report on 'The economic impact on the UK of a disruption to GNSS' has been made widely available.

The report, by London Economics (LE), has been commissioned by Innovate UK, the UK Space Agency and our Institute, and has involved over 35 contributors. It sets out to answer the question 'What would happen if GNSS were not available, even temporarily?'.

It aims to provide an answer in terms of estimated economic impact, using a combination of desk-based research and expert consultation. It identifies patterns of current usage, the functional role of GNSS within each system and resilience to disruption, and estimates the likely impact of a disruption to GNSS signal availability for up to 5 days across 10 application domains in the UK:
- Road
- Rail
- Aviation
- Maritime
- Food
- Emergency and Justice Services
- Surveying
- Location-Based Services (LBS)
- Other Infrastructure (including finance)
- Other Applications

The report considers the economic impact to the UK - both government and private sector - of a disruption to GNSS of up to 5 days, based on current reliance on GNSS, and it reflects that certain applications have developed over recent decades to a situation in which GNSS provides a critical input for which no backup is available. The implication of this reliance is that loss of GNSS would not only significantly disrupt those applications, but also disrupt sectors and industries that rely on goods or services from the same applications.

The report estimates that the economic impact on the UK through loss of GNSS for 5 days would be £5.2 (€5.9, $6.6) billion through direct and indirect channels. It adds that the majority of impacts are due to disruption of the road transport network, resulting in increased congestion (37%), problems for emergency and justice services (30%), severe disruption of the maritime transportation sector (21%) and the surveying sector grinding to a halt with further impacts on civil engineering (7%).

The report also mentions possible mitigation strategies, including the use of eLoran and Satelles Time and Location (STL). STL is in early development and the cost is unclear, but the cost of resurrecting eLoran to a useful level of 3 masts would be in the order of £50m over 15 years.

The 133-page full report and a shorter 'Showcase' report can be downloaded below . .

  • 22 June 2017
  • RIN

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