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Tom Clancy Drool-Fest

April 29th, 2003 - 12:50 am

Cool little report from Jim Dunnigan:

A new method of defeating GPS jamming was used in Iraq. The method puts GPS signal boosters on UAVs or other aircraft that can stay in the air for a long time. These boosters take the GPS signals from satellites and amplify them, often enough to overcome GPS jamming. These “artificial satellites” are called “psuedolites” and will work as long as the using side has air supremacy.

An amazingly simple fix. Simple, that is, until you consider everything behind it. GPS requires launching an entire constellation of satellites in orbit, keeping them there, and launching improved replacements as needed. It requires receivers able to discern weak signals from multiple feeds over a hundred miles in the sky. The jamming fix requires an Air Force able to build, maintain, and fly remote-piloted drones. Those drones have to be small enough to be somewhat stealthy, but large enough to carry effective radio signal-amplification gear.

In short, you need a world-class space industry, advanced micro-electronics, and an imaginative, well-funded military.

Sorry, did I say something about a “simple fix?”

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