The risk of the unknown: Why anti-jamming technology is more important than ever

Assured navigation and cybersecurity defenses are growing priorities for marine users as global threats from interference and jamming increase.

The threat of spoofing and jamming has only grown over the years. Spoofing, which is interference that sends fake GPS signals to a target receiver and jamming, which causes a loss of accuracy and potentially loss of positioning from global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers, can throw communication into chaos. That’s why retired admiral from the Royal Navy, United Kingdom’s Lord West of Spithead reached out to the United Kingdom government to find out what plans were in place if those satellite communications don’t work.

“I thought they’d have processes, but it became very clear from their answers that they don’t understand what the problem is,” Lord West said, per BBC.

“There’s no proper system for achieving communication if satellites collapse.”

Spoofing and jamming have become more common in recent years, not only in the UK, but across the globe. A study from SkyTruth and Global Fishing Watch uncovered more than 100 warships globally have appeared to have had their locations faked since August 2020. Some of the tracks showed warships approaching foreign naval bases or intruding into disputed waters, according to the publication Wired, which they theorized could escalate tensions among countries.

The risk of the unknown and the possibility of tracking significantly off course is heightened in the open water, adds Dr. David Russell, Marine Segment Portfolio Manager at Hexagon.

“If I’ve got a GPS receiver, I’m in the middle of London, and the GPS tells me I’m in a different part of London, I’ve got visual references that I can verify. I can see if I’m in front of a different building,” Russell said. “If you’re in the middle of the ocean, you don’t have that. There are no visual references. You’re completely reliant on something that’s given you a position, and you’ve got no idea if it’s wrong.”

With that rise in awareness, the risk of conflict and the general vulnerability of vessels, the maritime industry has taken notice of these threats on GNSS. Hexagon has created a solution, with the VERIPOS GAJT-710MS designed to mitigate intentional and unintentional jamming or interference in the most challenging offshore environments. More cost-effective and accessible than ever, the VERIPOS GAJT-710MS is leading edge and battle-tested, meaning the GPS receiver will never be compromised.

While the marine vessel industry remains a focal point for anti-jamming and spoofing technology, innovation under the umbrella of cyber security will be a point of emphasis as we move toward a more autonomous future across all industries. And Hexagon will be there every step of the way to guarantee reliable accuracy and positioning.

Click here to learn more about how GAJT-710MS can mitigate the threat of interference, jamming and spoofing attacks.