Overview of STL
Satellite Time and Location (STL) from Satelles provides customers around the globe a Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) service using low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites.
STL is unique in that its signals are powerful, extremely secure, and available worldwide. The high-power signals provide a backup to the Global Positioning System (GPS) as well as penetrate into GPS-challenged environments where GPS signals are obstructed or degraded, including indoors. The complex, overlapping beam patterns of the satellites combined with modern cryptographic techniques allow STL to deliver a trusted time and location capability that is highly secure.
Due to the proximity of LEO satellites (25 times closer to the Earth than GNSS satellites) and a high-power satellite signal, STL broadcasts are 1,000 times (30 dB) stronger than GPS, allowing them to penetrate deep into GPS-challenged environments where signals are obstructed or degraded, including indoors and underground.
An innovative mesh architecture of 66 polar-orbit LEO satellites forms an efficient and flexible global network in space to ensure a robust time and location service everywhere — including urban and rural locations, and across oceans, airways, and polar regions. Cross-links provide continuous orbit and time information on the entire constellation even when most are not in view of ground systems. Overlapping spot beams provide location-specific keys that change every second to support location-based authentication.
STL’s unique security features provide a trusted PNT solution that is highly resistant to cyberattacks and other signal manipulation. For example, the complex, overlapping beam patterns of the satellites combined with modern cryptographic techniques allow STL to deliver a trusted time and location capability that is highly secure.
STL Can Become Part of a Comprehensive Cybersecurity Solution
Security authentication has typically been based on three factors — something you know (password, PIN), something you have (physical key, security token, access card), something you are (fingerprint, voice, iris pattern) — but a fourth factor is becoming more prevalent: somewhere you are.
This is important because a growing number of commercial and government applications currently depend on GPS to validate the location of a user attempting to access a sensitive system, resource, or physical space. The challenge is that GPS can be easily hijacked, but STL offers a dependable backup.
STL provides reliable positioning information for geolocation-based security because it is delivered securely via a signal that is impervious to disruption and manipulation. STL is also available indoors and other locations where it is difficult to receive a GPS signal.
Timing solutions are available with sub-microsecond and sub-hundred-nanosecond accuracies, with zero long-term drift. Location information (positioning) is also provided for latitude, longitude, and elevation. STL precision is based on the timing references used by receivers, such as temperature-compensated crystal oscillators (TCXO), oven-controlled crystal oscillators (OCXO), and atomic clocks.
Affordable User Equipment
The use of Iridium’s L-band frequency allows STL to leverage GPS chipsets that enable small receivers to operate with short antennas and at low power, thereby maximizing end-user convenience while minimizing cost. L-band signals also allow small antennas that are suitable for mobile devices, and they are impervious to weather events such as rain and lightning.
A multi-year track record of providing reliable 24/7 service to customers validates TRL 9 maturity (the highest technology readiness level) with products operating today within banks, major stock exchanges, data centers, and other businesses across the globe.
The service attributes of STL combine to provide assured PNT that meets diverse requirements.
Introduction to STL