GPS jammers are typically small devices that plug into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket and transmit a radio signal that overwhelms or overwhelms weaker signals such as GPS or other signals, and are becoming more common with the increased use of fleet management and tracking systems .
At first glance, these devices may seem relatively harmless, but they have a high potential to cause damage. Remember, GPS is not only used for navigation, it is also the primary source of timing and synchronization for critical infrastructure such as financial, communications, industrial and energy networks. In fact, this infrastructure is so dependent on GPS for timing and synchronization that the Department of Homeland Security has taken action over the past few years to raise awareness of threats and find solutions to protect these vital systems.
In timing applications, jammers interfere with the GPS signal, causing the underlying system to lose its ability to synchronize its internal clock, and therefore with the rest of the network. Because many critical infrastructure sectors need to synchronize their networks to within a millionth of a second, even short-term GPS outages can have a significant impact.
Worse, when an outage occurs, there is often no indication that it was caused by a disturbance. To make matters worse, many of the data centers hosting the servers that run these networks are located in storage areas (where trucks come and go) or near major highways. These are the two places where you are most likely to find GPS jammers.
In fact, we know from experience and examples in real life that it not only happens…but is relatively common.A good way to visualize how it works is to stand with your arms straight to both sides, parallel to the floor, and then lift them at a 30 degree angle to the floor.If you are a GPS antenna on the roof of the data center, any RF signal from below your arm will be blocked.Because the most common source of interference comes from people trying to escape the fleet management tracking system.