How GPS Signal Outages Affect Five Critical Essential Services
Whether and how GPS signal outages affect five key sectors: banking and finance, communications, emergency services, energy and transportation systems. Examples include the risk of lighter-sized jammers that some truckers use to evade regulatory scrutiny, and the risk of using GPS signals to block critical services.
A similar concept now has some federal support — though not from the Department of Homeland Security. If enough phones with jammer-to-noise ratio detectors are reported, this data can be used to quickly narrow down where jammers are located.
Under a new Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contract to develop an application for Android-based phones to detect GPS jamming and provide situational awareness of the impact of known GPS jammers.
As one might surmise from the wording, this is a battlefield application. According to the contract announcement, the company is building its GPS jamming location system, which is currently used by warfighters. The goal is to develop and test an app for the phone that provides JLOC sensor reports using its internal GPS. The second phase of the project will be developed based on user feedback.
One appeal of this approach is that it's easy to spread such an app through Google's Marketplace -- certainly the same for civilian versions. It is conceivable that hundreds of handheld devices calling interference reports could create a natural network for detecting and triangulating interference sources. In fact, the company will continue to promote the benefits of civilian GPS jammers positioning capabilities as the project progresses.