Real-world instances of Global Navigation Satellite System jamming and spoofing have been steadily increasing in recent years. Those incidents include hundreds of commercial ships being spoofed in the Black Sea and repeated GNSS jamming affecting commercial aviation in Norway.

Air traffic manager Eurocontrol recently disclosed more than 3,500 instances of GPS jamming were reported by pilots during 2019 alone.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has conditionally approved an application by satellite communications provider Ligado Networks to deploy a low-power terrestrial nationwide network in the L-Band to support 5G and Internet of Things services. The decision means that GNSS systems and devices must be capable of resisting adjacent-band radio frequency interference at extremely high-power levels while still providing extremely accurate and precise data to users.

Over-dependence on GPS and other navigation aids along with growing vulnerabilities including jamming, spoofing and other forms of interference highlight the need for terrestrial backups to current GNSS systems. We take a hard look at the scope of the problem and possible remedies in our upcoming GPS Special Project.