The blocker needs a present
of a cruise missle
GPS jamming of airliners not only causes navigational havoc but delays commercial airline flights too, EU airspace regulator Eurocontrol has complained in a new report. Jamming of the essential navigational satellite signal has caused enough headaches for the EU air traffic control organisation to prompt an investigation, …
If the GPS blocker is a ground installation, good, old fashioned inertial navigation should do fine provided that the warhead's destructive radius is about the same size as the inertial navigation system's error circle.
If the blocker is being carried by a drone, then IR terminal guidance should do nicely.
A home on jam missile is another option. I asked somebody from the military about this option a good few years ago. He said (without going into any secrets) that there are certainly options for seeking and destroying a jammer that way. If you can DF a transmitter based on the power I can't see why a missile couldn't. Have to make sure no one else is using that frequency first I'd imagine.
1 Many (most? all?) modern radar-guided air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles have a home-on-jam mode. This tends to make the life of an airborne jamming system exciting, but short. Have the civilian aircraft, or the air traffic controllers, have a word with the local military. If said military aren't the ones doing the jamming, they may elect to have a SHOOTEX. If they are the ones doing the jamming, then... oops.
2 There are dedicated anti-radiation missiles, such as HARM and ALARM. Where the AAMs and SAMs primarily hunt airborne targets, ARMs primarily hunt surface targets. HARMs are fast enough to go for air targets, too. They specifically hunt emitters. Including jammers.
3 GPS systems are _supposed_ to detect GPS emitters. Just include some extra logic in the seeker head avionics. "IF emitter is NOT in orbit AND IF emitter is stronger than cell phone THEN set collision course AND send 'Banzai!' over voice comms frequencies." (Other available words and phrases to replace 'Banzai' include 'Hell waits for thee' and 'God send the right'.)
I heard that President Biden already ordered and the US military executed an illegal rocket attack on Syria a few days ago, the first military action of the new President and apparently illegal under both international and US law. Simply bringing precision-guided democracy to the Syrian people, I assume.
I gather by the number of downvotes that many people are pretty happy with the status quo. I wonder whether they would change their mind if other countries solved their problem with terrorists, drug lords and wanted criminals hiding in the US by unsolicited rocket strikes on the US soil. This is exactly what the US is doing to other countries while apparently forgetting the Golden Rule that is one of reciprocity or in some cases they call it, retaliation.
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> either Greece to annoy the turkish occupation forces in Cyprus or the Turks to do the very same to Greek forces
In both cases it would be a very stupid and counterproductive move, because the only one really affected is the Cypriot civilian population both sides want to keep happy.
As for Greeks and Turkish butting heads, they have a way easier and more immediate playing field, the Aegean Sea and its dozens of Greek islands...
> Read it again and not the words "responsible for".
Sure, but as already stated by others, if the perpetrator is a country at war (it usually is), chances are civilian flights to it have already stopped long ago, so a flight embargo won't even be noticed.
The problem here is the "collateral damage" in neighboring countries which are not responsible, and have no means of pressure on the real perpetrator.
See this quote from the article - "air forces from West and East alike have long been jamming GPS as part of their military operations there.". It's everyone from all sides doing it. You can't threaten to boycott anyone involved when your own military and all their allies are just as much responsible as anyone you might dislike.
Could this be partially solved by Larnaca airport upgrading its Instrument Landing System (ILS) so aircraft can lock into a glide path early enough to be less dependent on GPS? At the moment you can probably find more planes out there that are ILS CAT III capable than ones that are Galileo capable.
Larnaca already has VOR-DME, which will let you determine the heading and range to the airport. ILS is far too directional to be of use beyond flying the approach. These older technologies are being phased out in favour of GNSS procedures as they are expensive to install and maintain, plus systems like ADSB/TCAS (which are required for most commercial flight these days) will still be reporting the aircraft’s position to ATC/other aircraft based of what GPS says.
Mostly probably not. The GNSS approaches bring them onto the final ascent and into the ILS range. ILS points straight up the runway, whereas the approaches are way off centre line.
Have a look at the following approach into Queenstown. Admittedly, it's difficult to see when they might have got on ILS, but it should give you an idea of how much they rely on GPS.
There was an approach in Lebanon, NH, (near Dartmouth College) that used a VORTAC approach (in the late '60s). The approach guaranteed no mountains within 10 miles of the VORTAC station. A NE airlines plane was 12 miles from the VORTAC and clipped a mountain. Everyone aboard died.
Very sad. We lost several good professors.
>At the moment you can probably find more planes out there that are ILS CAT III capable than ones that are Galileo capable.
Is that really the case? Every smartphone under the sun has supported simultaneous GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and BeiDou for donkeys years now, because the chips they use support all the systems together. Are avionics versions of the same tech that far behind?
They could well be that far behind. Smartphones don't have to go through a highly regulated sign off procedure with multiple countries' authorities before being allowed to be used. Remember aircraft have a lifespan of decades and some of those solutions are relatively new. While replacement/upgrade of the GNSS system in a plane is technically fairly simple (I'd assume), the red tape surrounding it would be much harder.
" While replacement/upgrade of the GNSS system in a plane is technically fairly simple"
Except that a Boing aircraft relying on russian/european/chinese navigation satellites won't happen, for political reasons unless regulators tell them they have to do it for airworthiness certification
The scary part is that aircraft are using _only_ the trivially hjammable L1/E1/G1 signals for this stuff at all rather than using using multiband receivers to pick up the L2/L5/G2/G3E5/E6, etc transmissions which are less susceptable to jamming
For a commerical aircraft to use an RNAV approach or departure, they will typically be required to used an SBAS - a system that augments GNSS, adding corrections to the positioning data (mostly compensating for refraction of the ionosphere), deciding which satellites are offering reliable data and if GNSS/SBAS navigation can be used at any time. The European (EGNOS) and US systems (WAAS) currently only augment GPS signals, although augmentation of Galileo and L5/E5 bands is planned, along with a full CAT1 Autoland capability.
"Is that really the case? Every smartphone under the sun has supported simultaneous GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and BeiDou for donkeys years now, because the chips they use support all the systems together. Are avionics versions of the same tech that far behind?"
No and yes. Your phone might be able to do all four, but most phones do not. Lots of chipsets only do three of those, some are GPS/Glonass only, and the really cheap ones do AGPS which can use regular GPS but will take forever to actually get anywhere if that's all you have. In all cases, a lot of initial information comes from local towers before the location chip comes in for the fine details. The phones with all of those services enabled usually are the high-end ones or ones where the manufacturer got a nice supply contract. For context, while the iPhone 12 supports all four (plus QZSS), the iPhone 11, released about fifteen months ago, doesn't have BeiDou. Most won't have all four.
As for avionics equipment, it needs very thorough testing. Few make avionics equipment to use just one of the other services. Russia's is incomplete because they haven't replaced satellites. China's and Europe's are newer, at least in terms of whole-world coverage. Thus, if they're building it, they'll build it to use multiple services. The problem is that that equipment needs a lot of certification for safety, including the safety of all the code running on it. What will it do if GPS says one thing and Galileo says another? What if an entire satellite system can't be seen for some reason, either equipment fault or someone flipped a power switch? These situations need to have regulatory approval, meaning that they're only likely to get into new planes. There are lots of old planes that won't get retrofitted with that unless it becomes an issue of pressing safety concerns.
No. They already HAVE an ILS DME. The problem is that there's lots of lovely mountains in the area that planes don't want to fly into, so the approach to Larnaca isn't a simple straight vector into the ILS. The approach plate is full of lovely squiggly lines for how to get from the "safe zone" into the ILS without encountering Cumulus Granitus. (see: https://skyvector.com/airport/LCLK/Larnaka-International-Airport if you're interested)
Assuming the GPS "jammers" are on the ground then it is difficult to see how this is happening.The plane's GPS antenna will have it's lobes pointing above the plane ideally, with a hemispherical coverage. If the GPS jammer is below the plane then the only way it could prevent normal GPS reception is by overloading the plane's GPS receiver. As GPS signals are almost in the noise (we need correlation detectors to capture them) then that is easily possible. The solution would be install better GPS antennae or, even better, electrically steerable antennae, which could move the focus away from jamming signals. The military already know how to do this so sharing the technology should be possible. Alternatively, as Kenny Everett would say, just "bomb the bastards"!
If the GPS antenna is on the top of the aircraft with hemispherical coverage then what happens when the plane is climbing, descending and banking? It needs more than hemispherical coverage and hence is susceptible to jamming.
Although the GPS signals are below the noise, it's a spread spectrum system with 43dB processing gain, so the jammers still need a fair bit of power and ought to be pretty easy to find by anyone who was interested enough.
The military do use GPS anti-jam antenna systems. They don't focus away from jammers, they put nulls in the directions of jamming signals.
Why is it an issue?
It might affect light aircraft, but I thought modern airliners are equipped with an integrated navigation system that contains a triple-redundant GNSS-updated solid state inertial reference platform that can be augmented by terrestrial radio beacons.
So the GNSS failing or suddenly deviating from the inertial reference systems, whilst those all stay aligned, should just cause the GNSS data to be ignored.
Any INS will drift over time, and is not something you want to rely on for an approach threading between mountains. With modern approaches requiring ever-increasing precision (RNP) and fewer (less precise) ground stations available than before, it's entirely possible that some regions now simply cannot safely accept air traffic in the case of a widespread GNSS outage. The net effect should just be redirected flights and angry passengers (not CFIT incidents), but that also depends on the quality of the spoofing equipment if more than simple jammers are in use.
"Any INS will drift over time, and is not something you want to rely on for an approach threading between mountains."
Don't know if it is true or not but some years ago (when passengers were allowed onto the flight decks) I was up front on a 747 SIN to LHR. I asked about the inertial navigation accuracy and the Captain said that if he dialled in the LHR gate No at SIN then the plane would be no more than 20 metres off when it got to LHR. Laser gyros can maintain very high accuracy - they got a little run around to Mars! (I think)
GPS signals are indeed way below the noise floor and extracted by correlation. Which means you only need a low-powered jammer to block them by raising the receiver noise floor, you don't need to overload it. I remember our GPS chipset test receiver being driven round to test accuracy, and in one particular area it sometimes went haywire -- but not all the time. Speculation was that there was some machinery chucking out RF noise but only when it was turned on. Never did track down what it was...
"causes the map to shift and the plane then decides that it's currently inside a mountain. Sets off all of your terrain warnings.”
Worse would be if the map shifts and the plane thinks it's in the safe corridor, but is actually about to be inside of a mountain. If you think terrain warnings are loud, the noise of a jet meeting a mountain is much louder.
Insert old ATC joke about the Cessna pilot being asked to change altitude for noise control purposes. Pilot complained that his little bug smasher wasn't a big noise source. Controller asked "no? You ever hear the sound a Cessna makes when it hits a 737?"
To which specific insignificant wankers are you referring, who are:
a) at war near Cyprus? And...
b) possess nuclear weapons, and therefore an "I'm losing button"?
Also why do you believe the millions of innocents caught up in those conflicts deserve nuclear annihilation?
> And if you get jammed, it causes the map to shift and the plane then decides that it's currently inside a mountain
A large position shift would indicate spoofing rather than jamming. In either case(*) you get a RAIM alert, which tells you to disregard the GNSS (and yes, you break off the approach and either fly a conventional procedure or try again or divert to the alternate).
(*) I think. In theory a carefully spoofed signal could defeat RAIM (an integrity monitoring algorithm) but that would be quite a feat.
I was just about to post this. RAIM failures, which remove the GPS as a primary navigation source instead of just allowing garbage / incorrect position data to be shown / used, should be pretty hard to defeat. Doubly so if the altimeter is factored in to the RAIM checks.
I wonder if a badly flown VOR approach after a GPS outage was more to blame for the terrain warnings than straight out GPS spoofing. Yes, I'm being snarky and will grab my coat!
When considering jamming of GNSS, it is worth noting that all the current GNSS are military systems, with the exception of Galileo i.e. first and foremost, these systems are for military use and they are managed by the military arms of the various countries that own/operate them. Galileo were obliged to accede to American demands that the US military would jam Galileo signals at local/regional level, when they deem it necessary.
President Reagan authorized the development of GPS - a civilian navigation system for civilian airliners - in 1983, after the Soviet Union shot down an airliner. The first satellite was launched 6 years later in 1989, and the constellation was complete in 1994
It didn't take 10 years just to notice that civilians were permitted to use an existing military system: it took 10 years to develop a new civilian navigation system suitable for airliners.
Electronics and Communications weren't at some kind of dead stop during the 1980's: like computers and networking, satellite technology completely changed in the 1980's. The GPS satellite launched in 1983 was not 1970's military technology: it was new technology, developed for civilian airliners in response to the loss of a civilian airliner that went off course and was shot down.
The military was able to piggyback on the back of the new civilian navigation technology, as they always have: the Allies collected civilian maps and photographs of Europe prior to D-Day landings in Europe, and removed road signs in Britain for the same reason. And the development did happen inside the "Military Industrial Complex": this is the well known method of pork-barreling and industry protection in the USA, but that's much to the disgust of the military, which would like to appropriate all of the 'military' budget for military purposes, rather than having it used for things like developing a civilian navigation system for civilian airliners.
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