Global Positioning System and Military Jamming
GPS has increased productivity around the world and fundamentally changed military operations. Despite the importance of GPS, GPS signals are relatively weak and susceptible to interference. This vulnerability presents a range of opportunities for criminals, terrorists and state actors using GPS jammers devices.
GPS supports infrastructure assets critical to the operation of national and international banking, power grids, transportation and communications systems, so its reliability and accuracy are critical.
The use of jamming technologies creates new conflict territories when we consider the location and proximity of critical infrastructure. It identifies topics related to disruption impacts to better understand current and possible geographic and geopolitical impacts. GPS interference is not limited to conflict areas. Interference can occur in various geographic areas.
Different types of jammers can cause varying degrees of interference, but the use of powerful military jammers is becoming more common.
Interference is caused by "transmitting a noisy signal on one or more GPS frequencies to increase the noise level or overload the receiver circuit and cause loss of lock".
Part of the reason is that the vast majority of GPS receivers need to be very sensitive due to weak signals from far-orbiting satellites. This weakness creates many opportunities for criminals as well as state actors seeking military strategic interests.
Jammers vary in power and capability, and these are factors that affect end-user intent. As highlighted in this article, jamming is used to prevent GPS-enabled tracking. It can also be used for harassing, or disorienting navigation and location information. Disruptions often occur indiscriminately and cause intentional and unintentional damage, transcending boundaries and penetrating walls and systems.