Image: Andy Goldsmith (IMCA): “Reference system signal jamming is happening in the Middle East”


Blog Editor’s Note: “DP” is “dynamic positioning” a capability that some maritime vessels have to automatically maintain a relatively precise position despite the efforts of waves and currents to move them away. For example, when a buoy tender wants to put a buoy in a very specific position to mark an obstruction, DP can automatically engage thrusters and engines to hold the ship in position during the placement.

Similarly, floating oil and gas platforms use DP to remain in position above a well on the seafloor. Failure of a DP system can cause the platform to break away from the wellhead. If the emergency breakaway equipment does not work properly, catastrophic spills like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster can result.

Many DP systems use multiple sensors, including GNSS, to hold a vessel in place. Floating platforms always use additional positioning sensors such as sonar ranging. DP systems for other surface vessels, such as offshore supply vessels (OSVs), often rely heavily on GNSS.

GPS jamming suspected in steep rise of DP incidents