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GPS Jamming: Major Threat To Drones

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Old May 2nd 18, 04:48 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
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Default GPS Jamming: Major Threat To Drones

One wonders how this forecast of "GPS (or GNSS) jamming and spoofing"
might impact ADS-B and NextGen (not to mention GPS approaches) both
dependent on GPS?


GPS Jamming: Major Threat To Drones

By Paul Bertorelli | April 30, 2018

As drones multiply, as they are expected to do, incidents of GPS (or
GNSS) jamming and spoofing are expected to rise in concert during the
next decade. That poses not just a threat of loss of the vehicles, but
also to nearby aircraft and unaware people on the ground, according to
Jeremy Bennington of Spirent, a company that specializes in jamming
and spoofing defense. Bennington spoke at the AUVSI XPONENTIAL Expo in
Denver this week and sketched a threat that’s not yet emergent, but
will escalate enough to require drone manufacturers to harden their
aircraft against interference.

Bennington said more than 150,000 incidents of jamming or spoofing
have been recorded, affecting aircraft, ships and ground vehicles. And
it’s not a hard thing to do. “If you want jam GPS, get your credit
card out. It’s really rather easily done,” he told a group of
XPONENTIAL attendees. The event is organized by the Association of
Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and although dominated by
aircraft systems, land and marine vehicles are also represented. And
all of them have been jammed or spoofed.

In one incident in Hanover, Germany, Bennington said, a GPS emulator
being used for maintenance disrupted inbound aircraft navigation and
actually electronically moved the runway threshold. It took
authorities hours to find the source. NASA’s ASRS has recorded more
than 100 incidents of interference, some serious enough to cause
aircraft to lose position data. While jamming splatters the signal,
spoofing actually fools the GNSS receiver into believing it’s
somewhere else. In one well-known incident in the Mediterranean Sea,
more than 20 ships were spoofed into believing their positions were
miles away from their true location.

Drones are beginning to use a method called sensor fusion—cross
checking position with radar, lidar or inertial systems—to defeat
spoofing, but these systems add cost and weight. Bennington says the
industry will have to respond sooner than later. “We will see the
impact as more drones enter service,” he said.

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