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Testing GPS Jammers Can Have Destructive Effects

Curry Mildred 2022/07/18

  Since fully opening to civilian use in 2000, societies to confront the extreme vulnerability of GPS service to hostile parties using simple, inexpensive jamming attacks.

  The powerful asymmetry, between widespread disruptive impact, and modest resources for a wide-range GPS jamming effort, is highly appealing to a hostile party. Unlike hard terror attacks involving violence by explosives, guns and knives, wide-range GPS jamming - while unlawful - is non-violent but annoyingly obvious to a large number of people and organizations.

  Short-range GPS jammers are commercially available. One typical model is a 0.960 Watt output power-jamming device for completely disabling GPS signals within 15m to as far away as 40m.

  What is the practical, long-distance range of a wide-area GPS jamming device that a hostile party with modest resources can realistically deploy in order to completely disable all GPS reception in a large contiguous geographic area?

  Any competent electronics enthusiast, technician or engineer should be able to build the jamming electronics device from parts costing a few hundred dollars.

  A hostile party operating a wide-range GPS jammer on a congested multi-lane expressway could enjoy an attractive disruption pay-off. Especially with a more sophisticated extra-far-reaching jammer set-up using a pair of parabolic-shaped antennas to focus all the jamming RF power in both forward and backward directions along the expressway’s axis of travel.

  A smaller vehicle could carry a battery with storage capacity of 9kWh, giving three hours of jammer operation at 3kW power. The antennas could be disguised as roof racks, or hidden inside a plastic cargo or ski box mounted on roof racks.