[SystemSafety] GPS jamming

Martyn Thomas martyn at thomas-associates.co.uk
Wed Jul 10 14:04:34 CEST 2019

Car thieves routinely jam GPS (and mobile) to defeat trackers. Drug
dealers do it because other dealers (and the police) put trackers on
their cars.

Law enforcement agencies (LEAs) do it too. I recall a presentation on
GPS at the UK National Physical Lab a few years ago by the woman who ran
the network of detectors that monitor GPS jamming in the US. When they
started, they detected a lot of jammers and raided the vehicles - most
of them were LEAs or spooks. Plenty of scope for blue-on-blue trouble. I
haven't heard what the situation is now.

But GPS is so easy to jam and so widely used across the economy for
precision position and timing that it is likely to be increasingly
jammed by terrorists and other hostile agents. A few watts in a balloon
takes out a very large area.

The world really needs a terrestrial backup, such as eLORAN.


On 10/07/2019 12:49, Robert P. Schaefer wrote:
> Thought this would be of interest:
> NASA report: Passenger aircraft nearly crashes due GPS disruption
> https://www.gpsworld.com/nasa-report-passenger-aircraft-nearly-crashes-due-gps-disruption/
> Along the lines of “Who the heck would jam GPS in the continental US?”, 
> I’ve got an anecdotal story from one of Haystack’s scientists who was
> trying to collect GPS data 
> (L1, L2 data is useful for measuring solar activity in the Ionosphere)
> during the solar eclipse in August 2017. 
> He was unable to collect data because of GPS jamming. The story was
> that truckers use GPS jammers so they
> won’t be tracked by their employers.
> bob s.
> research engineer
> MIT haystack observatory
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