January 3, 2019

Spirent’s SimMNSA Granted Security Approval by the Global Positioning System Directorate

GPS/GNSS test equipment provider Spirent Federal Systems has announced that their new M-Code solution, SimMNSA, has been granted Security Approval by the Global Positioning System Directorate. They are the first and only company to provide this highly anticipated solution for simulating classified GPS signals, and are currently taking orders, according to a press release.

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By Inside GNSS
December 24, 2018

Launch of First GPS III Satellite Begins Modernization of the GPS Constellation

At approximately 12,550 miles (20,200 kilometers) up … turn left. You have arrived at a new era for the Global Positioning System (GPS).

A major milestone in the U.S. Air Force’s plan to bring new technology and capabilities to the GPS constellation, the first Lockheed Martin-built GPS III satellite began “talking” with engineers and operators from ground control, as planned, following its successful launch Sunday morning.

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By Inside GNSS
November 27, 2018

Septentrio’s AIM+ Designed to Overcome RF Interference on GNSS Signals

GNSS signals are exceptionally vulnerable to radio frequency interference which can happen by accident – think of an amateur radio operator broadcasting locally – but also occur intentionally by jamming and spoofing devices. No matter the application, the stakes can be extremely high when GNSS signals are lost due to radio interference.

This could mean a loss of position in cars, taxis, trucks or robotic vehicles, emergency response vehicles, but also construction machines, marine survey, drone inspection or even financial transaction synchronization, food delivery and ride-sharing services. Interference is not some new phenomenon but with the many markets —demanding reliable positioning — it has become a priority today.

For more than 15 years Septentrio has been developing and perfecting unique interference mitigation techniques to address interference threats on GNSS. The countermeasures employed include adaptive notch filtering, pulse blanking, and unique wide band interference mitigation. Together, these measures along with other analogue and digital advancements form Septentrio’s AIM+ (Advanced Interference Mitigation) technology.

The company has an informational brochure designed to address the ever-increasing number of connected devices operating across the increasingly crowded RF spectrum that can cause unintentional interference of GNSS signals. Maintaining position accuracy, reliability and availability is a serious challenge both today and tomorrow for GNSS receivers operating in this crowded RF interference environment. As more and more new applications for GNSS are developed, challenges grow as more complex forms of interference appear worldwide. Identifying and overcoming interference with the application of advanced mitigation technologies is critical to ensure the quality of GNSS measurements and positioning.

You can download  your free 20 pages GNSS interference brochure and find out how we can help you monitor and mitigate interference in your everyday work and life.

Septentrio has developed a sophisticated RF interference monitoring and mitigation system (AIM+). To mitigate the effects of narrow-band interference, 3 notch filters can be configured either in auto or manual mode. These notch filters effectively remove a narrow part of the RF spectrum around the interfering signal. The L2 band, being open for use by radio amateurs, is particularly vulnerable to this type of interference. The effects of wideband interference, both intentional and unintentional, can be mitigated by enabling the WBI mitigation system. The WBI system also reduces, more effectively than traditionally used pulse-blanking methods, the effects of pulsed interferers.

By Inside GNSS
November 16, 2018

Air Force to Battle Hostile Navigation Environments with High-Assurance GPS Receiver Technology from Rockwell Collins

Rockwell Collins has been selected by the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (USAF AFLCMC) to provide its latest-generation Digital GPS Anti-Jam Receiver (DIGAR). With unsurpassed GPS threat protection levels, DIGAR receivers will bring highly-reliable navigation for U.S. Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force Reserve F-16 aircraft operating in contested, electromagnetic environments, according to Rockwell Collins. This will be the first combat fighter aircraft to be installed with the latest version of the receiver.

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By Inside GNSS
October 31, 2018

Criminal Investigation Underway in GPS Jamming Incident That Crashed Drones, Caused HK$1M in Damage

More than 40 drones performing in a professionally organized light show fell from the sky in Hong Kong Saturday after the GPS signal they were using was jammed. The incident, which caused some HK$1 million in damage (U.S. $127,500), is now under criminal investigation.

The firm Sky Magic, which uses a customized fleet of performance dronesto do indoor and outdoor light shows, confirmed the incident but declined to discuss details of what happened because the investigation was still underway. The company, which has offices in the UK and Singapore, said it would provide more information once the investigation was concluded.

The unmanned aircraft were part of a 100-drone show that was cancelled after an outside party interfered with their operation, Asian news outlets reported. The light show was being performed in conjunction with the annual Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival.The planned seven-minute show featured 100 rotorcraft with LED lights honoring the 10th anniversary of the festival by forming the outline of a birthday cake and the number 10.

The drones were lost during a show Saturday, October 27. Shows already had been done Thursday and Friday.

“After initial checks, the GPS signals for the drones were found to be interfered [with] by external parties and the board reported the issue to police immediately,” organizers said in a press release, according to the South China Morning Post.

“These are professional drones, which are already built with technologies that would direct them back to the takeoff origin,” Hong Kong Tourism Board’s Executive Director Anthony Lau told the Morning Post, “but the signals were so strong that many of them just dropped from the air.”

Lau said an initial police investigation ruled out the possibility that the machines had been hacked.

“They [the police] were here all night working with us, and our vendor, and looking into all sorts of possibilities, and have come to the conclusion that it is not computer hacking,” Lau said. “It is because someone jammed the GPS signal.”

By Inside GNSS
October 23, 2018

SDX 18.10 Now Available From Skydel

Skydel Solutions’ SDX 18.10, a new version of the company’s GNSS simulator that features improvements to receiver antenna management and a new advanced jammer type, is now available.

Starting with this SDX update is an upgraded paradigm for managing receiver antennas: SDX now supports the management of multiple vehicle antennas within a single scenario. Antennas can now be defined, named, and exported as antenna files that can be re-imported back into other scenarios. This handy feature will speed up antenna reuse and multi-scenario workflows for users managing numerous antenna models in GNSS simulation scenarios.

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By Inside GNSS
October 18, 2018

GPS Hackers Could Send Weapons to Wrong Target – GAO Report

A recent General Accountability Office (GAO) report is highly critical of the cyber security, or lack thereof, in U.S. weapons systems. One of the examples of cyber-attacks it lists is GPS spoofing.

The report, published this month, goes on to say:

“…weapon systems are dependent on external systems, such as positioning and navigation systems and command and control systems in order to carry out their missions—and their missions can be compromised by attacks on those other systems. A successful attack on one of the systems the weapon depends on can potentially limit the weapon’s effectiveness, prevent it from achieving its mission, or even cause physical damage and loss of life.”

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By Inside GNSS