The civilian GPS signal was never intended for use in security-related applications. Unfortunately, this is exactly the way the civilian signal is currently used. Critical infrastructures rely heavily on GNSS is the field of navigation and timing, for instance in telecommunications, banking, power supply, aircraft guidance, tracking of dangerous goods, electronic tolling, etc. Moreover, due to the long satellite-receiver distance, the received signal power is extremely low.
Thus, the impact of interference – intentional or unintentional - and the robustness of the service should be assessed. Unintentional interference can originate from harmonics or intermodulation products, originating from radar applications, satellite communications or TV broadcasting. However, there is as well growing concern about intentional interference, under the form of jamming of spoofing.
The activities focus on the quantitative assessment of the impact of anthropogenic and natural interference sources on GNSS signals, services and receivers. Research and policy support in different areas of GNSS interference and compatibility are conducted using theoretical analyses and experimental tools.
The European Microwave Signature Laboratory (EMSL), a large anechoic chamber equipped with state of the art GNSS and interference source generators, is the core facility adopted for complex and realistic experiments.
IPSC has contributed to the
- Analysis of compatibility between GNSS and other services such as Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial (DVB-T), LightSquared Long Term Evolution (LTE) and pseudolites (terrestrial transmitters broadcasting GNSS-like signals);
- Monitoring of the new Galileo signals and testing of advanced GNSS receivers;
- Study of solar activities (space weather) which can cause instabilities in the ionosphere leading to scintillation on GNSS signals. In this respect, the JRC has installed a custom scintillation monitoring station at the Jicamarca Radio Observatory (JRO) in Peru;
- Impact analysis and countermeasure design of jamming and spoofing threats.