From Larry Dighera@21:1/5 to D-Lite on Tue Oct 12 08:08:57 2021
[continued from previous message]
If you swerve across all lanes to make a last minute turn with GPS, then you are doing it wrong. I had more issues when driving blind, or in the past
with a hand drawn map. I did try at least to indicate landmarks or earlier exits/intersections so I knew it was approaching, but it was an imperfect system.
December 1, 2017 at 8:16 am
You don’t fix stupid people by increasing the governments reach/control over all people. Same goes for allowing private entities/corporations to force a users legally owned device to act in some way or do something they did not
OK and I don’t mean OK’ing via some legalese Terms Of Conditions that no one reads because they are written to be difficult to understand. Terms of
Service and Agreements often use all caps and similar techniques to
obfuscate the meaning of the thing.
More Laws/Government Control Safety !
December 1, 2017 at 9:27 am
With a GPS I can see where the street is supposed to be well before I am
With directions I don’t know where I’m going until I see the road sign.
So I really don’t see how having less information where you are going makes
you a better driver.
December 1, 2017 at 4:58 am
Also used by car thieves…
December 1, 2017 at 5:19 am
I was going to say that aluminum foil would be the simpler solution, but jammers would most likely be used where the GPS (and particularly its roof antenna) are hard-mounted in a vehicle and foil hats would be difficult.
December 1, 2017 at 5:23 am
Difficult perhaps, but think of how stylish your car would look!
December 1, 2017 at 8:26 am
Certainly ties in with the reason why it’s not good to interfere with GPS,
even if achieved in a different way.
December 1, 2017 at 3:10 pm
dudes like this – GPS jammers are frequently used by truck drivers
I would about 2-3 times a year help with some dude doing exactly this. We
would have the terminal manager make a loud example out of one driver and
the rest usually fell in line quickly. We made it perfectly clear we can
tell. It is dead easy to tell. The truck is going 60MPH passed through
dozens of cell towers (which also have a form of GPS) and yet the GPS still says the truck stop 100 miles ago. How very odd… The terminal managers who liked to give the benefit of the doubt would do a ride along and magically
the driver was 2-3 hours ahead of schedule. With a nice stern warning of ‘we know dont screw up again’. The ones who usually got fired were the ones
after 2 total equipment swaps and it would fail in the same way every time
and after a ride along. Some managers would do a dual set of hardware and
track it in a different way then show it. Or a camera to watch them disable
Our favorite was to scare them into leaving the thing alone. “I can put a bucket over that thing and hahaha no signal” “well you could but it has
enough energy to bounce the data off a satellite I sure would not want to expose my balls to that” A lie sure but plausible enough they would stop
December 1, 2017 at 3:26 pm
Wonder how many gave up their cell phones? ;-)
w1retap (@w1retap) says:
December 1, 2017 at 5:25 am
I bought a nice 2G/3G/4G/CDMA/GPRS/GPS jammer that’s good for a 50ft radius. It’s great for movie theaters with everyone texting and their phone ringing.
I just flip it on and instantly hear everyone’s lost signal tone so I can
enjoy the movie.
December 1, 2017 at 5:48 am
I hate to say this but a time may come when somebody behind a wall will, unbeknownst to you, try to dial 112.
December 1, 2017 at 8:21 am
And if that theatres structure and or location resulted in someone’s signal being unavailable would that mean that the theatre is at fault if that
patron needs to access emergency services?> or should it be on the patron to seek alternative means like going to the theatre mgt and asking them to call emergency services?
I get what wiretap would use such a device in a theatre. Its not like loud patrons where you can get mgt to ask them to quiet down or leave. Too many people are disrespectful of others and thus do things that cause problems
for others and because of there “F’ em” attitude others like wiretap are
forced to empty counter measures. Ever been at a theatre where some idiot
has brought they’re baby/toddler to an adult movie and the baby/kid cries
most if not the whole time?
December 1, 2017 at 6:10 am
Hope you are kidding. Otherwise you should be in prison.
December 1, 2017 at 8:30 am
Lets start defining cellular communications as a right, and roll from there,
so theater owners can go to jail for using passive techniques like Faraday cages.
Rog Fanther says:
December 1, 2017 at 6:46 am
Now we just need something to disable the lights from their phone screens
December 1, 2017 at 9:30 am
Because fuck that guy with his on call phone set to vibrate. He didn’t need
to be alerted that he has to get the backup generators running for the water treatment plant. Who even needs those?
December 4, 2017 at 2:05 am
And what do you think the pager uses to communicate?? Hint: it’s one of
December 1, 2017 at 5:34 am
Any kind of RF jamming equipment is illegal in the USA, and probably in most other jurisdictions also.
There, somebody had to say it.
That being said, I’m surprised at how such a simple circuit could produce
such a clean output. NO harmonics? None at all? Have the laws of physics
looked the other way, or is there far more filtering going on than just what
we can see?
Of course, the spectrum analyzer screen shot doesn’t actually show the frequency where the 2nd harmonic would be expected, right around 3150 MHz,
in a part of the spectrum reserved for space research and radiolocation…
December 1, 2017 at 6:04 am
I have no insight into the equipment that was used to generate that spectrum graph, but I suspect it’s a very reasonable possibility that the equipment didn’t go up to 3.15Ghz, very possible a failure to measure created the
opinion that it must not exist.
December 1, 2017 at 6:12 am
Okay, if jamming is this easy, what about spoofing? It would be a lot of fun
to have whoever’s watching think you’re in the middle of the Pacific Ocean
one minute and downtown Des Moines the next, particularly when you’re
supposed to be in London.
(Yes, I know this kind of signal manipulation would be very difficult…but that’s what makes it fun)
December 1, 2017 at 7:07 am
315MHz – that remote control frequency times 5 (as in 5th harmonic) is
1575MHz. Overdriving one to make a nice square wave…
December 1, 2017 at 7:28 am
That would be amusing. Ebay 315MHz transmitter being being modulated (to
widen the spectrum), then fed to soem MMIC amplifer and then to a 1575Mhz
SAW filter and maybe amplified a bit more.
December 1, 2017 at 7:47 am
You say that now but when waves of autonomous killer drones are headed your
way you’d wish you had an array of these in your go-bag ready to deploy. Although random location spoofers might be more suitable.
December 1, 2017 at 10:26 am
Couldn’t you do the same just by grounding the antenna?
December 1, 2017 at 10:22 pm
If you can get to it. GPS in vehicles, particularly ones where the owner
isn’t the driver (trucks), is often hidden away somewhere hard to get to.
And they don’t always tell the driver where. Since the machine’s job is to
spy on the driver, they’re intrinsically enemies. And a sneaky company might put 2 GPSes in. A jammer solves that problem.
If the driver was in charge of the GPS, he could just not fit it in the
December 1, 2017 at 11:52 am
If the GPS is in the roof of the car, get a rubber magnetic stick on to
cover it up. The stuff in magnet should be a poor window to RF. Better to laminate some “tin foil” on it.
December 1, 2017 at 12:01 pm
The jammer won’t work if the system uses GLONASS as a backup which I
understand is more common than you might have realized.
December 1, 2017 at 10:23 pm
Sure you can get something that blocks GLONASS’s frequency though right? But yep, certainly in mobile phones, anything with GPS usually has GLONASS too, they put them in the same chip.
December 2, 2017 at 10:26 am
Some receiver might use multiple bands of each system too (not sure about consumer product, but my survey-grade GNSS do use multiple band). That’ll
sure make jamming even more complicated.
December 4, 2017 at 1:10 pm
A running SJCAM 4000 (possibly any other cheap gizmo with LCD) placed
closely to GPS antenna makes a quite good GPS jammer. People that do HABs
know this. The RF crap is apparently generated by that thing come from (most likely) poorly terminated LCD control lines.
FAA FILES REVEAL A SURPRISING THREAT TO AIRLINE SAFETY: THE U.S. MILITARY'S
Military tests that jam and spoof GPS signals are an accident waiting to
MARK HARRIS21 JAN 202111 MIN READ
Image of a plane being tracked by GPS.
PHOTO-ILLUSTRATION: STUART BRADFORD
EARLY ONE MORNING LAST MAY, A COMMERCIAL AIRLINER was approaching El Paso International Airport, in West Texas, when a warning popped up in the
cockpit: “GPS Position Lost." The pilot contacted the airline's operations center and received a report that the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range,
in South Central New Mexico, was disrupting the GPS signal. “We knew then
that it was not an aircraft GPS fault," the pilot wrote later.
The pilot missed an approach on one runway due to high winds, then came
around to try again. “We were forced to Runway 04 with a predawn landing
with no access to [an instrument landing] with vertical guidance," the pilot wrote. “Runway 04…has a high CFIT threat due to the climbing terrain in the local area."
CFIT stands for “controlled flight into terrain," and it is exactly as
serious as it sounds. The pilot considered diverting to Albuquerque, 370 kilometers away, but eventually bit the bullet and tackled Runway 04 using
only visual aids. The plane made it safely to the ground, but the pilot
later logged the experience on NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System, a
forum where pilots can anonymously share near misses and safety tips.
This is far from the most worrying ASRS report involving GPS jamming. In
August 2018, a passenger aircraft in Idaho, flying in smoky conditions, reportedly suffered GPS interference from military tests and was saved from crashing into a mountain only by the last-minute intervention of an air
traffic controller. “Loss of life can happen because air traffic control and
a flight crew believe their equipment are working as intended, but are in
fact leading them into the side of the mountain," wrote the controller. “Had [we] not noticed, that flight crew and the passengers would be dead. I have
There are some 90 ASRS reports detailing GPS interference in the United
States over the past eight years, the majority of which were filed in 2019
and 2020. Now IEEE Spectrum has new evidence that GPS disruption to
commercial aviation is much more common than even the ASRS database
suggests. Previously undisclosed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) data
for a few months in 2017 and 2018 detail hundreds of aircraft losing GPS reception in the vicinity of military tests. On a single day in March 2018,
21 aircraft reported GPS problems to air traffic controllers near Los
Angeles. These included a medevac helicopter, several private planes, and a dozen commercial passenger jets. Some managed to keep flying normally;
others required help from air traffic controllers. Five aircraft reported making unexpected turns or navigating off course. In all likelihood, there
are many hundreds, possibly thousands, of such incidents each year
nationwide, each one a potential accident. The vast majority of this
disruption can be traced back to the U.S. military, which now routinely jams GPS signals over wide areas on an almost daily basis somewhere in the
How to access reports on NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System
1: To investigate a report, go to the ASRS database: https://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/
2: On the top ribbon, click “Search ASRS Database," and then choose “Search ASRS Online." Click on “Start Search."
3: Follow the steps under “How to Search" at the top. Then, under 7 “Text: Narrative/Synopsis," click on “[words]." Then click on “Text contains Click Here."
4: In the pop-up window, enter some of the text that is quoted in this
story. In the “Fields to search" field at the bottom, click “Narrative" (but you can also try “Synopsis").
5: If you're searching on more than one word, you need to format it inside parentheses, thus: (GPS JAMMING).
6: Click “Save." The pop-up will disappear.
7: Click “Run Search" at the bottom right.
8: Under “Display your results," click “View all reports."
The military is jamming GPS signals to develop its own defenses against GPS jamming. Ironically, though, the Pentagon's efforts to safeguard its own
troops and systems are putting the lives of civilian pilots, passengers, and crew at risk. In 2013, the military essentially admitted as much in a
report, saying that “planned EA [electronic attack] testing occasionally
causes interference to GPS based flight operations, and impacts the
efficiency and economy of some aviation operations."
In the early days of aviation, pilots would navigate using road maps in daylight and follow bonfires or searchlights after dark. By World War II,
radio beacons had become common. From the late 1940s, ground stations began broadcasting omnidirectional VHF signals that planes could lock on to, while shorter-range systems indicated safe glide slopes to help pilots land. At
their peak, in 2000, there were more than a thousand very high frequency
(VHF) navigation stations in the United States. However, in areas with
widely spaced stations, pilots were forced to take zigzag routes from one station to the next, and reception of the VHF signals could be hampered by nearby buildings and hills.
Everything changed with the advent of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), first devised by the U.S. military in the 1960s. The arrival in the mid-1990s of the civilian version of the technology, called the Global Positioning System, meant that aircraft could navigate by satellite and take direct routes from point to point; GPS location and altitude data was also accurate enough to help them land.
The FAA is about halfway through its NextGen effort, which is intended to
make flying safer and more efficient through a wholesale switch from ground-based navigation aids like radio beacons to a primarily satellite-enabled navigation system. Along with that switch, the agency
began decommissioning VHF navigation stations a decade ago. The United
States is now well on its way to having a minimal backup network of fewer
than 600 ground stations.
Meanwhile, the reliance on GPS is changing the practice of flying and the habits of pilots. As GPS receivers have become cheaper, smaller, and more capable, they have become more common and more widely integrated. Most airplanes must now carry Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) transponders, which use GPS to calculate and broadcast their altitude,
heading, and speed. Private pilots use digital charts on tablet computers, while GPS data underpins autopilot and flight-management computers. Pilots should theoretically still be able to navigate, fly, and land without any
GPS assistance at all, using legacy radio systems and visual aids.
Commercial airlines, in particular, have a range of backup technologies at their disposal. But because GPS is so widespread and reliable, pilots are in danger of forgetting these manual techniques.
When an Airbus passenger jet suddenly lost GPS near Salt Lake City in June 2019, its pilot suffered “a fair amount of confusion," according to the
pilot's ASRS report. “To say that my raw data navigation skills were lacking
is an understatement! I've never done it on the Airbus and can't remember having done it in 25 years or more."
“I don't blame pilots for getting a little addicted to GPS," says Todd E. Humphreys, director of the Radionavigation Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin. “When something works well 99.99 percent of the time,
humans don't do well in being vigilant for that 0.01 percent of the time
that it doesn't."
Losing GPS completely is not the worst that can happen. It is far more dangerous when accurate GPS data is quietly replaced by misleading
information. The ASRS database contains many accounts of pilots belatedly realizing that GPS-enabled autopilots had taken them many kilometers in the wrong direction, into forbidden military areas, or dangerously close to
In December 2012, an air traffic controller noticed that a westbound
passenger jet near Reno, Nev., had veered 16 kilometers (10 miles) off
course. The controller confirmed that military GPS jamming was to blame and gave new directions, but later noted: “If the pilot would have noticed they were off course before I did and corrected the course, it would have caused [the] aircraft to turn right into [an] opposite direction, eastbound [jet]."
So why is the military interfering so regularly with such a safety-critical system? Although most GPS receivers today are found in consumer smartphones, GPS was designed by the U.S. military, for the U.S. military. The Pentagon depends heavily on GPS to locate and navigate its aircraft, ships, tanks,
The U.S. military routinely jams GPS signals over wide areas on an almost
For such a vital resource, GPS is exceedingly vulnerable to attack. By the
time GPS signals reach the ground, they are so faint they can be easily
drowned out by interference, whether accidental or malicious. Building a
basic electronic warfare setup to disrupt these weak signals is trivially
easy, says Humphreys: “Detune the oscillator in a microwave oven and you've
got a superpowerful jammer that works over many kilometers." Illegal GPS jamming devices are widely available on the black market, some of them
marketed to professional drivers who may want to avoid being tracked while working.
Other GNSS systems, such as Russia's GLONASS, China's BeiDou, and Europe's Galileo constellations, use slightly different frequencies but have similar vulnerabilities, depending on exactly who is conducting the test or attack.
In China, mysterious attacks have successfully “spoofed" ships with GPS receivers toward fake locations, while vessels relying on BeiDou reportedly remain unaffected. Similarly, GPS signals are regularly jammed in the
eastern Mediterranean, Norway, and Finland, while the Galileo system is untargeted in the same attacks.
The Pentagon uses its more remote military bases, many in the American West,
to test how its forces operate under GPS denial, and presumably to develop
its own electronic warfare systems and countermeasures. The United States
has carried out experiments in spoofing GPS signals on at least one
occasion, during which it was reported to have taken great care not to
affect civilian aircraft.
Despite this, many ASRS reports record GPS units delivering incorrect
positions rather than failing altogether, but this can also happen when the satellite signals are degraded. Whatever the nature of its tests, the military's GPS jamming can end up disrupting service for civilian users, particularly high-altitude commercial aircraft, even at a considerable distance.
The military issues Notices to Airmen (NOTAM) to warn pilots of upcoming
tests. Many of these notices cover hundreds of thousands of square
kilometers. There have been notices that warn of GPS disruption over all of Texas or even the entire American Southwest. Such a notice doesn't mean that GPS service will be disrupted throughout the area, only that it might be disrupted. And that uncertainty creates its own problems.
In 2017, the FAA commissioned the nonprofit Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics to look into the effects of intentional GPS interference on civilian aircraft. Its report, issued the following year by the RTCA's GPS Interference Task Group, found that the number of military GPS tests had
almost tripled from 2012 to 2017. Unsurprisingly, ASRS safety reports referencing GPS jamming are also on the rise. There were 38 such ASRS narratives in 2019—nearly a tenfold increase over 2018.
Chart describing GPS Problems.
New internal FAA materials obtained by Spectrum from a member of the task
group and not previously made public indicate that the ASRS accounts
represent only the tip of the iceberg. The FAA data consists of pilots'
reports of GPS interference to the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center, one of 22 air traffic control centers in the United States.
Controllers there oversee air traffic across central and Southern
California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, western Arizona, and
portions of the Pacific Ocean—areas heavily affected by military GPS
This data includes 173 instances of lost or intermittent GPS during a
six-month period of 2017 and another 60 over two months in early 2018. These reports are less detailed than those in the ASRS database, but they show aircraft flying off course, accidentally entering military airspace, being unable to maneuver, and losing their ability to navigate when close to other aircraft. Many pilots required the assistance of air traffic control to continue their flights. The affected aircraft included a pet rescue shuttle,
a hot-air balloon, multiple medical flights, and many private planes and passenger jets.
In at least a handful of episodes, the loss of GPS was deemed an emergency. Pilots of five aircraft, including a Southwest Airlines flight from Las
Chicago, invoked the “stop buzzer," a request routed through air traffic control for the military to immediately cease jamming. According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, pilots must use this phrase only
when a safety-of-flight issue is encountered.
To be sure, many other instances in the FAA data were benign. In early March 2017, for example, Jim Yoder was flying a Cessna jet owned by entrepreneur
and space tourist Dennis Tito between Las Vegas and Palm Springs, Calif.,
when both onboard GPS devices were jammed. “This is the only time I've ever
had GPS go out, and it was interesting because I hadn't thought about it
really much," Yoder told Spectrum. “I asked air traffic control what was
going on and they were like, 'I don't really know.' But we didn't lose our ability to navigate, and I don't think we ever got off course."
Indeed, one of the RTCA task group's conclusions was that the Notice to
Airmen system was part of the problem: Most pilots who fly through affected areas experience no ill effects, causing some to simply ignore such warnings
in the future.
“We call the NOTAMs 'Chicken Little,' " says Rune Duke, who was cochair of
the RTCA's task group. “They say the sky is falling over large areas…and
it's not realistic. There are mountains and all kinds of things that would prevent GPS interference from making it 500 nautical miles [926 km] from
where it is initiated."
GPS interference can be affected by the terrain, aircraft altitude and attitude, direction of flight, angle to and distance from the center of the interference, equipment aboard the plane, and many other factors, concluded
the task group, which included representatives of the FAA, airlines, pilots, aircraft manufacturers, and the U.S. military. One aircraft could lose all
GPS reception, even as another one nearby is completely unaffected. One military test might pass unnoticed while another causes chaos in the skies.
This unreliability has consequences. In 2014, a passenger plane approaching
El Paso had to abort its landing after losing GPS reception. “This is the
first time in my flying career that I have experienced or even heard of GPS signal jamming," wrote the pilot in an ASRS report. “Although it was in the NOTAMs, it still caught us by surprise as we really did not expect to lose
all GPS signals at any point. It was a good thing the weather was good or
this could have become a real issue."
Sometimes air traffic controllers are as much in the dark as pilots. “They
are the last line of defense," Duke told Spectrum. “And in many cases, air traffic control was not even aware of the GPS interference taking place."
The RTCA report made many recommendations. The Department of Defense could improve coordination with the FAA, and it could refrain from testing GPS
during periods of high air traffic. The FAA could overhaul its data
collection and analysis, match anecdotal reports with digital data, and
improve documentation of adverse events. The NOTAM system could be made
easier to interpret, with warnings that more accurately match the
experiences of pilots and controllers.
One aircraft could lose all GPS reception, even as another one nearby is completely unaffected.
Remarkably, until the report came out, the FAA had been instructing pilots
to report GPS anomalies only when they needed assistance from air traffic control. “The data has been somewhat of a challenge because we've somewhat discouraged reporting," says Duke. “This has led the FAA to believe it's not been such a problem."
NOTAMs now encourage pilots to report all GPS interference, but many of the RTCA's other recommendations are languishing within the Office of Accident Investigation and Prevention at the FAA.
New developments are making the problem worse. The NextGen project is accelerating the move of commercial aviation to satellite-enabled
navigation. Emerging autonomous air systems, such as drones and air taxis,
will put even more weight on GPS's shaky shoulders.
When any new aircraft is adopted, it risks posing new challenges to the
system. The Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300, for instance, entered service in
2009 and has since become the world's best-selling light jet. In 2016, the
FAA warned that if the Phenom 300 encountered an unreliable or unavailable
GPS signal, it could enter a Dutch roll (named for a Dutch skating
technique), a dangerous combination of wagging and rocking that could cause pilots to lose control. The FAA instructed Phenom 300 owners to avoid all
areas of GPS interference. Embraer said that it fixed the issue in 2017.
As GPS assumes an ever more prominent role, the military is naturally taking
a stronger interest in it. “Year over year, the military's need for GPS interference-event testing has increased," says Duke. “There was an increase again in 2019, partly because of counter-UAS [drone] activity. And they're
now doing GPS interference where they previously had not, like Michigan, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas, because it adds to the realism of any type of military training."
So there are ever more GPS-jamming tests, more aircraft navigating by satellite, and more pilots utterly reliant on GPS. It is a feedback loop,
and it constantly raises the chances that one of these near misses and stop buzzers will end in catastrophe.
When asked to comment, the FAA said it has established a resilient
navigation and surveillance infrastructure to enable aircraft to continue
safe operations during a GPS outage, including radio beacons and radars. It also noted that it and other agencies are working to create a long-term GPS backup solution that will provide position, navigation, and timing—again,
to minimize the effects of a loss of GPS.
However, in a report to Congress in April 2020, the agency coordinating this effort, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, wrote: “DHS recommends
that responsibility for mitigating temporary GPS outages be the
responsibility of the individual user and not the responsibility of the
Federal Government." In short, the problem of GPS interference is not going away.
In September 2019, the pilot of a small business jet reported experienced jamming on a flight into New Mexico. He could hear that aircraft all around
him were also affected, with some being forced to descend for safety. “Since the FAA is deprecating [ground-based radio aids], we are becoming dependent upon an unreliable navigation system," wrote the pilot upon landing. “This extremely frequent [interference with] critical GPS navigation is a
significant threat to aviation safety. This jamming has to end."
The same pilot was jammed again on his way home.
This article appears in the February 2021 print issue as “Lost in Airspace."
RQ-170 in Iran
On 5 December 2011, an American Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel unmanned
aerial vehicle (UAV) was captured by Iranian forces near the city of Kashmar
in northeastern Iran. The Iranian government announced that the UAV was
brought down by its cyberwarfare unit which commandeered the aircraft and safely landed it, after initial reports from Western news sources disputedly claimed that it had been "shot down". The United States government
initially denied the claims but later President Obama acknowledged that the downed aircraft was a US drone. Iran filed a complaint to the UN over