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Old 20-01-2011, 14:34   #1
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FAA Warns of Ongoing GPS Issues in Southeastern US Due to Defense Department 'Tests'

Sorry if this has been posted already, but I thought it was worthy of letting people know about if it hadn't:

FAA warns of ongoing GPS issues in southeastern US due to Defense Department 'tests' -- Engadget

source: Resources - Notices - FAA - FAASTeam - FAASafety.gov

Yes, it's an FAA notice, but I think it's still important information to know about.
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Old 20-01-2011, 15:08   #2
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This was in this week's notice to mariners for district 5:
GPS SIGNAL TESTING
DUE TO TESTING ON GPS FREQUENCIES USED IN SHIPBOARD NAVIGATION AND HANDHELD SYSTEMS. GPS SYSTEMS THAT RELY ON GPS,
SUCH AS E-911, AIS AND DSC, MAY BE AFFECTED WITHIN A 150 NM RADIUS OF POSITION 30 49.09N 80 28.18W. DURING THIS PERIOD GPS
USERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO REPORT ANY GPS SERVICE OUTAGES THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE DURING THIS TESTING VIA THE NAVIGATION
INFORMATION SERVICE (NIS) BY CALLING (703) 313-5900 OR BY USING THE NAVCEN WEB SITE'S GPS REPORT A PROBLEM WORKSHEET AT
U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center.
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Old 20-01-2011, 18:18   #3
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It applies to all GPS devices:

FAA warns of ongoing GPS issues in southeastern US due to Defense Department 'tests' -- Engadget
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Old 21-01-2011, 05:28   #4
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Ben Ellison at Panbo.com has a post on this worth reading: Panbo: The Marine Electronics Weblog: "GPS testing"...or do they mean jamming?
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Old 21-01-2011, 06:34   #5
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It sounds like their testing jamming. A low altitude antenna pointed up would have little effect on ground level. They may just be testing a new frequency, or encoding. The jamming may be a side effect.
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Old 21-01-2011, 06:45   #6
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I used to keep my boat across the St. John's River from NAS JAX. Every so often my GPS would go haywire. Weird!
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Old 21-01-2011, 07:05   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speciald@ocens. View Post
I used to keep my boat across the St. John's River from NAS JAX. Every so often my GPS would go haywire. Weird!
According to my GPS I was once teleported instantly about 10 miles. I heard an aircraft overhead and looked up to see an EA6B electronics warfare plane headed back to Cherry Point. About 3 minutes later with the plane over the horizon my boat instantly returned to it's original position. Imagine that. I would assume you get the same types of aircraft around NAS JAX now and then.

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I would think that the notice to mariners posting would indicate a surface effect. I would think that the difference in radius between the FAA warning and the USCG warning has to do with the radio horizon of a line of site signal. Since GPS frequencies are line of site, any jamming signal would also have to be line of site. To get a 150 mile radius on the surface the antenna is probably airborne. Maybe the EA6Bs are getting a more powerful jammer.
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Old 21-01-2011, 12:46   #8
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GPS unreliability in Feb 2011

The US govt has issued a NOTAM to pilots that GPS will be unreliable on 20th Feb 2011, particularly for positions of the S.E. US coast.

More at UK techie mag The Register FAA to pilots: Expect 'unreliable or unavailable' GPS signals ? The Register

Update: The coast of California will also be affected.
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Old 21-01-2011, 19:19   #9
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Several years ago, 5-6 years I think, some hobbyists literally flew a model airplane from the US NE coast to Ireland and while they used live radio control for the landing, the majority of the flight was autopiloted by GPS.

Considering the number of rogue states, terrorists, assorted folks who want to drop chemicals, warheads, or other surprises on the US and other targets, and considering how easy off-the-shelf GPS guidance is...Personally I'd be horrified if the DoD WASN'T actively experimenting with GPS spoofing and jamming. Jamming is nice, but with spoofing you can misdirect the intruder, and that can be even better.

This is about on a par with the typical "We're closing the highway all afternoon because some VIP is flying in to give a speech" in the bigger picture of things. But since GPS users aren't all aviators and mariners...it sure would have been nice if this was pushed out in the National Nooze, both print and broadcast.

My favorite GPS error is from a Garmin Nuvi, which of course couldn't tell an exit was under construction. "Recalculating...Continue 750 miles then make next u-turn."

Oh yeah, that'll work.<G>
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Old 22-01-2011, 05:55   #10
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Sounds like the FAA and Defence Dept haven't been reading the GPS threads on CF - nothing ever goes wrong with GPS (as guaranteed by Al Gore ).

But not to worry, I've e-mailed them some links

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
My favorite GPS error is from a Garmin Nuvi, which of course couldn't tell an exit was under construction. "Recalculating...Continue 750 miles then make next u-turn."

Oh yeah, that'll work.<G>
Yes. it would work.

But just like the marine version, it doesn't "know" anything. and doesn't care about the outcome.

and the GPS was 100% right too .
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Old 23-01-2011, 19:30   #11
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GPS Warning from FAA for Jan/Feb

Here is a warning about using GPS in the southeastern USA during Jan 20-Feb 11 and Feb 15 to 22. Unspecified DOD testing will make GPS use at altitude by aircraft unavailable or unreliable. What effect it will have at sea level is not stated.
Panbo: The Marine Electronics Weblog: "GPS testing"...or do they mean jamming?

https://www.faasafety.gov/files/noti...L11-01_Rel.pdf

As to the new development of Truck drivers and others using personal GPS jammers to evade trucking regulations, etc. and the current mass dependence upon GPS for things like Cell Phones see:
http://www.gla-rrnav.org/pdfs/interf...ps_v101_3_.pdf

Besides navigaton on land, air and sea, it seems jamming a GPS with a $30 jamming device you can buy on the internet can take down entire cell phone system by disrupting their timing signals.
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Old 24-01-2011, 03:11   #12
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Even when GPS does work, when combined with dodgy maps and a total faith in technology....

BBC NEWS | UK | England | North Yorkshire | Drivers on edge over cliff route
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Old 24-01-2011, 07:19   #13
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GPS may be down for a while...

FAA warns of ongoing GPS issues in southeastern US due to Defense Department 'tests' -- Engadget
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Old 24-01-2011, 07:22   #14
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The Department of Defense will conduct GPS tests on January 20th through February
22nd, 2011. During testing, the GPS signal may be unreliable or unavailable.
A. Location: Centered at 304906N/0802811W or the location know as 105.25
degrees and 52.1 NM from the SSI VOR.
B. Dates and times: GPS testing is scheduled on January 20th through February 11th,
2011 from 0000-0245 UTC daily and February 15th through February 22nd, 2011
from 0000-0245 UTC daily. These tests may not be concurrent so pilots are
advised to check NOTAMS frequently for possible changes prior to operating in the
area.
C. Duration: Several test events will be conducted and will be active for 45 minutes
followed by 15 minutes of off time.
D. During testing, GPS will be unreliable and may be unavailable with in a circle with
a radius of 370NM and centered at 304906N/0802811W or the location known as
105.25 degrees and 52.1 NM from the SSI VOR at FL400; decreasing in area with
a decrease in altitude to a circle with a radius of 325NM at FL250; a circle with a
radius of 260NM at 10,000FT MSL and a circle with a radius of 215NM at 4,000FT
AGL.
E. Pilots are highly recommended to report anomalies during testing to the
appropriate ARTCC to assist in the determination of the extent of GPS degradation
during tests.
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Old 24-01-2011, 07:26   #15
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Must be very localized where the issues are. I've been doing a lot of driving around Florida the past week, including this weekend, and the GPS in my car has always been absolutely spot on.
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