Russia blocks U.S.made GPS in Ukraine
Russia is conducting a major jamming operation to prevent Ukraine from acquiring GPS signals. If successful, it would severely limit Ukraine's ability to travel across battlefields and operate modern aviation equipment such as drones.
As part of the war against Ukraine, Russian troops routinely jam signals from U.S. GPS. These signals underlie many aspects of modern warfare, from navigating surveillance drones and targeting missiles to enabling mobile radios.
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Moreover, these latest measures are aimed at disrupting new technology provided by the United States, especially small precision drones, and come after repeated claims that Russia interfered with Ukraine's GPS immediately before it invaded Ukraine.
"Ukraine may not have access to GPS," a Space Force official told NBC.
Another Ukrainian space infrastructure was attacked, NBC reported.
The report, citing the U.S. Space Force, said jammers from Russian troops besieging the country were targeting global positioning system (GPS) satellite signals used for navigation, mapping and other purposes.
"The Ukrainians may not be able to use GPS because there are jammers around that prevent them from receiving any available signals," Gen. David Thompson, the Space Force's undersecretary for space operations, told NBC Nightly News on Monday.
Russia has its own independent system called GLONASS, Europe has one called Galileo, and China has one called Beidou. Specifically, Russia is targeting the Navstar satellite system used by the United States and has disclosed it to multiple countries around the world.
Navstar uses 24 major satellites, each orbiting the Earth every 12 hours. The system works by sending synchronization signals to users on Earth. Because the satellites are moving in different directions, the user receives the signal at slightly different times. When four satellites are available, GPS receivers can use their signals to calculate the user's location, usually within a few feet.
Ukraine also suffered from a lack of internet connectivity as the Russian attacks began and continued. At Ukraine's request, SpaceX has shipped thousands of Starlink terminals to the country to provide self-sufficient infrastructure.
High-power, long-lasting GPS jammers are easy targets. Any strong and consistent RF transmission can be easily located and attacked. Many militaries have missiles specifically designed to track down and destroy jammer launchers. Even without such weapons, direction-finding technology can pinpoint the launcher for artillery or air or ground attack. Russian commanders may limit launch power and air time to avoid attracting enemy fire.
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