Friday the US Department of Homeland Security published a list of 22 recommendations for installation, selection and use of GPS receivers to minimize opportunities for jamming and spoofing.  Among them the document includes:

  • Installation of decoy antennae to confuse potential spoofers and jammers
  • Obscuring the receiver antenna so it can’t be seen by potential spoofers and jammers
  • Use of blocking antennae to protect the receiver antenna
  • Use of GPS receivers that are spoof and jam resistant
  • Use of multiple GPS receivers with an integrating system
  • Use of more sophisticated and capable hold-over clocks

The document does point out that, even if all the recommendations are followed, GPS receivers can still be jammed.

While these are all good recommendations, we are not sure how widely they will be adopted.

Most users buy GPS receivers based on price. Adopting these recommendations would greatly increase cost.

Also, many businesses see “problems with GPS” as something for the government to solve.  As one example, last January a major system under government contract failed because of the GPS SVN-23 timing anomaly. When the contracting government agency tried to reprimand the contractor, the business replied that it was not their fault. It was the government’s fault because its GPS service had malfunctioned.

Improving the Operation and Development of Global Positioning System (GPS) Equipment Used by Critical Infrastructure – US Department of Homeland Security