GPS Jamming As described in AICs, the MoD will carry out GPS jamming trials during the next few months. The fi rst will be around the Sennybridge training area (D203 in mid-Wales) between 7th and 18th September. There will be another over the sea South of Cornwall on 9th & 10th September, and finally another in East Sussex on 14 & 15 October.
There is a considerable amount of GPS jamming around NATO fleets in the Mediterranean, at sea level. I don't know to what altitude the jamming extends or whether it is notified; it is not usually notified in Notices to Mariners (equv. NOTAMS). It is a very common practice.
As usual, the FAA leads the way...others follow. ALL US scheduled GPS outages (IE: scheduled jamming trials, specifically geographically denoted) are broadly publicised well in advance, via NOTAMS to pilots and notice to mariners. Normally, these exercises take place well after 11pm, local time, to cause the least disruption to airbourne/marine GPS navigation users.
Well then....wonder when Europe will actually wake up? Answers on a postcard....
NB. The US taxpayers provided the GPS system for use, free of charge...so don't complain.
Firstly 411a, if you actually read the OP you will see that the trials have been communicated via various means before they happen. I don't know who started publishing trials first but at least I am able to read and understand what someone has posted
Secondly, the US taxpayers did pay for GPS but the lack of forward movement recently within the US has led to the Galileo project which is funded by EU taxpayers and is far superior to GPS.
Airmail - you might be right but first once the project actually 'proves itself'... For now, it's just an EU tax drain...
This reminds me of the VHS - Beta debate - which one is better? ...imagine if the government decided to create it's own, an even better version of the tape player... ...and then all of a sudden the CD player gets invented...
IS GALILEO WORTH THE COST? There are many who have had deep reservations about the cost of Galileo from the outset - and, in particular, the uncertainties that exist about what the precise end-cost will be. This prompted one sceptic to dub Galileo the "Common Agricultural Policy of the sky". There is also an intense debate about the true scale of the revenue opportunities available. Who will want to pay for Galileo-enhanced services and how much will they be prepared to pay? GPS was built at considerable cost by the US taxpayer but the returns for the American economy mean that investment has been repaid many times over. Early GPS entrepreneurs are now dollar billionaires, but how much room is left in the sat-nav market for others? Also, the progress of the project has hardly inspired confidence. The private consortium of aerospace and telecom companies selected to build and operate Galileo collapsed last year. Infighting and political meddling were blamed. Galileo has been bedevilled by delays and cost overruns. A group of UK MPs said recently that Galileo provided "a textbook example of how not to run large-scale infrastructure projects". All that said, the European Commission is adamant that the potential benefits are huge. Even if the value of the future global sat-nav market has been overstated (at 450bn euros annually from 2025 in one analysis), the returns to the EU economy demand member states press ahead with Galileo, the EC believes.
Fair comments - however I suspect that the same article could have been written when the US developed GPS.
Incidentally, I note that the article talks about how some people have made billions out of GPS, I read something quite recently that said the people that have made the most out of GPS (i.e. the owners of TomTom and others), are set up in places like the Caymans. Nothing like giving something back!
"Fair comments - however I suspect that the same article could have been written when the US developed GPS."
I agree. In general, the only time I think a government should get involved is for military reasons... All governments are usually bad 'business owners' and that's why I wonder if EU should try to keep this project private...
"Incidentally, I note that the article talks about how some people have made billions out of GPS, I read something quite recently that said the people that have made the most out of GPS (i.e. the owners of TomTom and others), are set up in places like the Caymans. Nothing like giving something back!"
Well, all those companies have been sold and resold many times. Nothing new there... I think Tomorrow Technologies at one point were owner by UPS Technology, a company headquartered in Atlanta with more than 400,000 employees worldwide... Hopefully they "gave something back"...
Well, at least they gave me a job...
By the way, my main point is that although I think Galileo will be a great project - by the time it's up and running there probably will be better and cheaper options out there... How do I know that? Very simple... Not only one but 28! governments (EU + Norway) are involved in this project...
I suspect the days of 'free use' of such a wonderful facility as GPS are drawing to a close. The two way nature of Galileo makes me suspicious its main added function aside from Distress calling is to give the facility to turn off for you if your subscription is not up to date!
I'm interested why GPS jamming trials have to take place? Are they trials of people who have jammed the amazing facility of GPS, or are they trials of how best to jam up a GPS system (why?). Can we look ahead to seeing GPS jammed to enforce complete take-up of Galileo (at a cost to every user)? Can we look ahead to seeing military action between the US and Europe over political manipulation of this sort? I am perfectly happy with GPS- its free functioning gives my car satnav (TomTom and Garmin I've been through- Tom Tom was crap) all the power I need. GPS powers aeroplanes for free. Why exactly are we developing Galileo at enormous cost (apart from Road Usage Tax reasons!)? A big project, but the whole thing stinks!
The military in the U.S. developed local GPS jamming techniques before turning off Selective Availability. SA was the deliberate, worldwide distortion of the GPS signal data to make GPS very inaccurate (off by as much as 100 meters), rendering it useless or even dangerous not only for the bad guys but also for many of the applications for which it is now being used. SA was added as an afterthough (like anti-spoofing encryption), after the military discovered that GPS was vastly more accurate than it had expected (15 meters, instead of 500). After effective local jamming techniques were developed, SA was permanently turned off.
For better or for worse, GPS is extremely easy to jam, which is one reason why it should not be relied upon as the sole means of navigation for aircraft. The military regularly conducts jamming tests in the U.S., and I'm sure jamming in active theaters is common, although obviously NOTAMs for the latter are not necessarily going to be published.
Galileo is another one of Europe's catch-up projects to try to show that it can do tech just as well as the U.S. On rare occasions, Europe is successful with such projects (e.g., GSM), but more often it just wastes taxpayer money and time while dozens of countries bicker endlessly with each other, turning practically every project into a political fiasco. It looks like Galileo may be going in that direction. And the idea of making people pay for something that is already free is highly illogical. Then again, pan-European projects like this often defy logic.
The reasons for developing a parallell system such as Galileo are obvious. GPS has been around for a long time and has it's limitations - the ability of it's owner to switch it off at will being a big one!
Galileo is far more advanced and will give far better accuracy. And it is in operation now. Only a few satellites are flying, but combined GPS/Galileo sets are on sale now and they use a combination of signal from all the satelites they can see - including Galileo's.
ALL US scheduled GPS outages (IE: scheduled jamming trials, specifically geographically denoted) are broadly publicised well in advance, via NOTAMS to pilots and notice to mariners. Normally, these exercises take place well after 11pm, local time, to cause the least disruption to airbourne/marine GPS navigation users.
It goes further than just those two groups. There are other enterprises which have come to rely on the GPS system in recent times. A very high percentage of agricultural enternprises (ground as well as air) use GPS guidance systems for tractors and other farm machinery, and most broadacre agricultural operations are done on "autopilot" with the driver/operator there just to do turns when required and monitor the operation at other times.
Off thread I know, but GPS has become just as essential to these operations as it can be for mariners and airmen.
"The reasons for developing a parallell system such as Galileo are obvious. GPS has been around for a long time and has it's limitations - the ability of it's owner to switch it off at will being a big one!"
The EU will have the switch off ability too - pay or else...