Image: USCG

What’s New: Of the trouble reports submitted to the USCG in the last year, 80% were evaluated as “unknown interference. These non-aviation, non-military reports were submitted from all over the globe, except for South America.

Why It’s Important:

  • While there are clearly areas of the world where interference is more common, it is good to recall it can and does happen most everywhere.
  • The reports show a really interesting diversity of events. It can happen to anyone. As an example:

“I have a complete outage of all GPS signals on all of the devices on board my boat. I am in Lake Champlain. I have plenty of clear sky around me. All of these devices were operating yesterday with no problems, although I did note a temporary outage on my chart plotter in the morning. Each device has its own antenna system. There is nothing different running today that might be causing interference.”

What Else to Know:

  • There are three different places the US government receives GPS problem reports:
  • Only the Coast Guard publishes the reports so others can learn from them. They can be found here:  GPS Problem Reports Status
  • Despite all the jamming and spoofing going on around the world, there aren’t many reports submitted, at least to the USCG data base. Only 80 reports were posted in the last 12 months. Part of the reason is probably that all of the following have to happen for a report to be filed:
    • The user has to realize they are having a problem and it is not their mis-operation of the equipment,
    • The user has to know where and how to file a report, and 
    • The user has to take the time and make the effort to file a report.