Department of Homeland Security funds study for resilient timing requirement of 5G networks and interoperability with GPS equipment

11/15/2022 3:23:06 PM Michael O'Boyle

Important elements of our nation’s critical infrastructure have come to depend on the global positioning system (GPS)—a network of satellites maintained by the United States government—that can be publicly accessed to provide position, navigation, and/or timing (PNT) signals. These are essential to critical infrastructure operations. Should such signals be spoofed, disrupted, or blocked it would represent significant vulnerabilities to the critical infrastructure systems dependent on them. In response to this concern, Presidential Executive Order 13905 directed the United States government to investigate alternatives and backup sources of PNT signals.

The Critical Infrastructure Resiliency Institute (CIRI) – a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate Center of Excellence at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign – will be conducting a research project funded by the DHS to examine the timing signal requirements of 5G networks and to identify and assess the feasibility of alternative/backup sources. 

Endicott Consulting – a private consulting firm with particular expertise in 5G and emergency communications - out of Seattle will be a key partner of CIRI in this research project. The Endicott Consulting team includes Barbara Endicott-Popovsky, the former executive director of the Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity at the University of Washington and current Research Professor at Portland State University. The team also includes Bill Boni, a retired Chief Information Security Officer and Senior Vice President for Security at T-Mobile.

Chris Doyle, a former senior executive at DHS, will serve as the Program Manager at CIRI to support the academic researchers and industry experts undertaking the research and to provide liaison with DHS and other Federal stakeholders.

The contract award will facilitate the management of the study titled “Resilient Timing Requirement Study for 5G Networks and Interoperability with Equipment that Uses GPS/GNSS for Positioning, Navigation and Timing.” In 18 months, the team will deliver a report of their findings and recommendations to DHS.