It’s no secret that GPS technology is quickly becoming ubiquitous. GPS devices are in our cars, on our boats, in our pockets. GPS mapping is performed by companies like Google and TomTom. It’s being crowd-mapped through a host of apps. It’s being amalgamated with WiFi, 3G and 4G signals to produce hyper-accurate mapping in real time. It’s also being jammed.
GPS Jammers a Big Problem
No doubt you’ve traveled once in a while, constantly looking for the next source of WiFi so you can check your email, boot up Mapquest, Facebook stalk that one special person you’re interested in. We’ve become a generation that is almost completely dependent on a constant stream of data. It’s becoming increasingly important for GPS devices as well. What good is a GPS is some jerk is jamming your GPS signal?
Why Jam a GPS Signal?
Much has been written on this blog about the use of GPS tracking in law enforcement. The fact is, if a vehicle can jam a GPS signal, then law enforcement officials will have a much harder time tracking it. Individuals who steal vehicles may greatly depend on these small devices to ensure their vehicles are not tracked.
GPS jamming isn’t always entirely done by nefarious criminals, however. Jamming of a GPS signal may occur by accident, especially if signals bleed over into the GPS’s airwaves. GPS satellites use similar frequencies to those used by radio and television (before cable); signals bleeding over is not an unrealistic scenario.
“Act of God” Jamming
GPS signals may also be jammed by an act of God, such as adverse weather conditions. Ensuring a GPS signal gets through in these conditions is a tech hurdle faced especially by GPS manufacturers in the military and marine sectors.
A Threat to Be Combatted
However, there is still an imminent threat when individuals maliciously, purposefully jam GPS signals. Not only may these jammers be used to facilitate illegal activities, they may result in collateral damage ranging from frustrated drivers to disruption of emergency services. For this reason, manufacturers continue to seek new ways to fight GPS signal vulnerability.