Can RNP be hosed for a whole airport by a simple GPS jammer?

Discussion in 'Other Aspects of Aviation Security' started by Mike, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Hello, terrorists! Is RNP (Required Navigation Performance) this easy to screw up?

    The title is misleading. There is no "airport satellite", rather they rely on GPS satellites to navigate in three-dimensional space.

    This does not bode well for RNP if some jackass trying to hide from his employer can screw it up.

    What happens if you're past V2 on an RNP departure and the jackass turns on his jammer?

    Pilots will really have to be on their toes if it's this easy to mess with.

    Associated Press: NJ man faces fine for disrupting airport satellite (Aug 9 2013)

    A New Jersey man faces tens of thousands of dollars in fines after regulators say he interfered with a satellite system at one of the nation's busiest airports while masking his whereabouts from his employer.

    The Federal Communications Commission said Gary Bojczak admitted he installed a jamming device in his company-owned pickup to thwart his employer's GPS.

    Bojczak surrendered the jamming device after his vehicle was stopped at Newark Liberty International Airport in August 2012.

    The FCC said the jamming device interfered with a new system that enhanced navigation signals that used GPS data to aid aircraft approaching, departing and on the ground. The system was undergoing testing at the time and was put into full service the following month.

    "signals that used GPS data to aid aircraft approaching, departing and on the ground" sounds a lot like the RNP system being implemented at many American airports.
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    From > three years ago ...

    Fox News: GPS Jammers Illegal, Dangerous, and Very Easy to Buy (Mar 17 2010)

    Jammers transmit a low-power signal that creates signal noise and fools a GPS receiver into thinking the satellites are not available. They can be used to confuse police and avoid toll charges, and some pranksters use them to nettle unsuspecting iPhone users ... Fox News was able to buy GPS jammers for as little as $50 from numerous online sources.
  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    More info about Smartpath here:

    Under operational benefits of Smartpath is this little tidbit: "Future upgrades include ability for CAT III approaches"

    Currently Smarthpath is certified for Cat I approaches, which (I'm simplifying the requirements somewhat) requires 200' of vertical visiblity and almost half a mile of horizonatl visibility.

    A Cat III approach is one with extremely low/zero visiblity -- the plane has to be able to land and stop itself.

    So what they're indicating is that a turkey with a $100 GPS jammer can disable this system, at which point a pilot who can't see where he is & where is going (assuming he becomes aware of the jammed GPS in time to react) will have to take control and manually fly the plane ... somewhere.

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