Blog Editor’s Note: The U.S. Government collects reports of GPS problems in several different places. One of the most interesting and accessible is at the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center. It is the reporting point for the general public around the world. 

The USCGNAVCEN has recently restructured its website. The new page for GPS Disruption Reports is here.

Many, if not most, users have a hard time recognizing whether or not they are having a problem with GPS signals. They often attribute challenges to terrain, their incomplete understanding of the equipment, or the equipment itself. Of those who do recognize the problem, many, if not most, don’t know where and how to report it. And of those who do know, many likely don’t take the time to do so.

As a result, the listings on the Coast Guard site are just the tip of the iceberg. A sampling of problems, each of which represents hundreds or thousands of others. The 10,000+ aviation incidents in 2021 we reported about yesterday certainly support the idea that there is much more going on out there that what is on the record.

Still, these samples can be interesting and informative. For example:


USER: The GPS was confused; repeatedly gave inaccurate directions; would tell me to turn “right onto southern maryland boulevard, route 4, S” when that would put me into on-coming traffic. Did the same thing to turn left onto the same blvd going north; re-routed itself every few seconds; gave multiple directions, one right after the other. Would show the destination much farther away (EX: 6 hours and 11 minutes) when it reality it was about 20 minutes away. Repeatedly did this and kept changing the time to destination every few second. Verizon is my cell company. A friend traveling through Philadelphia yesterday (2.5 hours north of Dunkirk, MD) experienced the same thing. It was not just my phone or my area. Right now I keep having to re-enter the re-captcha code so your site is not working properly either.

NAVCEN: The GPS Operations Center reviewed the GPS Constellation and Control Segment, there are no known anomalies that might affect GPS signal integrity at the time and vicinity of the reported problem. Space weather was reviewed and found unlikely to have impacted GPS performance. There were no authorized GPS tests in the area. No correlating reports from interagency partners or users.

(We have had similar problems while driving through NJ and Philadelphia.)

The determination on this one was “insufficient information.” Most of the determinations recently have been “unknown interference.”

We have bookmarked the page to make it easy to check in and see what’s new whenever we have a free moment.