View Full Version : GPS vulnerable, says report

Self Loading Freight
11th Sep 2001, 14:19
From CNN's Department Of The Obvious: http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/09/11/satellite.problems.ap/index.html

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Transportation Department report cautions that the satellite system the Federal Aviation Administration plans to use to help track airliners in flight is vulnerable to natural obstructions and electronic jamming.

The report by the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center said the signal from the satellites, known as GPS or Global Positioning System, could be blocked by buildings or interference from other transmissions.

In addition, the signals could be jammed or the satellites could even be attacked in a "highly unlikely" scenario.

"As GPS further penetrates into the civil infrastructure, it becomes a tempting target that could be exploited by individuals, groups or countries hostile to the United States," the report said.

Use of the existing satellite system is part of the FAA's $11.5 billion plan to allow more planes to land, take off and fly from place to place." (there's more at the site)


11th Sep 2001, 14:51
Considering that NDBs are jammed each time there's lightning in the area, I still think that we're moving in the right direction...

Also considering that the GPS signal is only one of the many inputs in a RNAV system, a terrorist would have to knock out all the VORs, DMEs and other augmentation systems in that area.
Concerning the risk that a plane might be "mislead" or something like that, this would also be difficult as you need RAIM to operate on GPS as a stand alone navigation system.

This report doesn’t tell the whole story…

[ 11 September 2001: Message edited by: Knold ]

11th Sep 2001, 15:29
The fact that GPS is a LOS system is hardly ground breaking news. Surprised they needed a report to tell them that! :rolleyes:


11th Sep 2001, 15:54
The Government conducted jamming trials on GPS signals last year. NOTAMs were issued at the time. :(