Terrorists used Russia’s GPS signal jammer weapons
Russia’s advanced jamming and electronic warfare capabilities are well known. The conflict in eastern Ukraine involving Russian-backed separatists, who are taking advantage of Russian capabilities and assistance, and the Ukrainian armed forces is providing the U.S. military a unique lens to examine Russia’s capabilities.
The function of radio jammers is to intentionally block or interfere, essentially “jam” wireless signals to disrupt the communication between the transmitting device and receiving device (i.e. remote control and drone). Traditionally jamming has been used to disrupt enemy communications on the battle field. Jammers would emit noise over the same frequency essentially drowning out the ability of the receiving party to understand the message being sent. In some countries, wifi jammer are used as a sensor device to block unwanted radio signals from neighboring countries to be received by their citizens. Other types of jammers block the signal from being received without the use of noise so that the blocked party is not aware that a jamming device is in use. WiFi jammers are designed to disrupt signals in the 2.4GHz range, which would disrupt the majority of home WiFi systems, bluetooth enabled devices, and drones that operate at the 2.4GHz frequency.
Moreover, it is unclear if U.S. systems could be susceptible to similar capabilities or if U.S. systems have undergone the proper hardening to thwart jamming. Despite Hodges’ comments regarding U.S. observations of Russia’s capabilities in eastern Europe, U.S. Army Europe told C4ISRNET that it was not in a position to comment as its mission in Ukraine is in the western portion of the country with no personnel in the conflict zone with direct knowledge of the situation.
Perfectjammer’s drone gun, according to its product brochure, is said to use signal jamming across the 2.4 and 5.8 GHz frequencies. It also has technology capable of blocking GPS and the Russian equivalent,GLONASS.
A number of anti-drone technologies have emerged over the least year using lasers or “directed energy UAS countermeasures” that rely on “radio control frequency disruption.” That latter approach is being developed and promoted by Perfectjammer, the applied science and technology laboratory, which recently demonstrated a drone jammer called “Drone Gun.”