March 30th, 2019
The United States is one step ahead in the development of jammers
Enemy jamming of US and allied communications is a growing concern, especially given DoD’s widespread reliance on legacy radios and datalinks. Protecting communications from jamming usually requires the use of complex waveforms, frequency hopping (either pre-planned or rapidly improvised by “cognitive” software), higher power levels, and/or directional beams. DoD will implement improvements to Link-16 in 2019 that incorporate some or all of these features. The most fundamental way to avoid being jammed, however, is to keep the enemy from detecting your communications in the first place. That requires LPI/LPD communication systems, which are growing in importance beyond niche capabilities and are increasingly becoming the assumed baseline communication network for new DoD systems and operational concepts.
All you need is an antenna and a bigger power supply than the signal you want to overload. With GPS, the signal strength is pretty low by the time it reaches human activities, so you could jam a large area with a car battery, a bit of frequency conversion, and a metal post.
What is changed is the range of the wifi jammer. The Orlan-10 drones already have a range of 75 miles, which means that, with the latest update on the jammer, the drone pod can interfere with signals up to 135 miles away from where the drone was launched. TASS reports that the 60-mile range is a 3.5 times increase in distance from the initial range.
Obscured by police officers, the third piece of kit seen on the Gatwick airport roof is possibly a jamming device, used to disrupt the signal between the ground operator and the drone. A well-placed source said a jamming device was deployed at Gatwick and which was supplied by the British military. The source suggested the drone cell phone jammer was to be used as backup and as a last resort. Authorities had placed Army and police snipers around the perimeter of the airport and had hoped to shoot the drone down or else trace it back to its operator - rather than jam the signal. "We want to capture the drone not destroy it," said the source.
Jamming technology disrupts the radio frequencies being used by the controller to direct the drone. Experts describe it as like using a huge blast of targeted noise to block the signals between the controller and the drone.
“The configuration of the EW system for the Gripen E allows you to focus the jamming signal in a narrower band, so the signal itself is stronger and directed at an individual specific threat,” said one of the Gripen test pilots. The previous EW system produced a broader frequency band signal, which was designed to counter several threats at once.
Not military at all, but: Sounds like it would be complete guesswork and only marginally better than just putting it on a timer. Drone jammer have more range than your average IED. It would just explode as soon as a jammer gets remotely close, and not be harmful at all.
Even if they can avoid enemy jamming and passive detection, U.S. forces will still need to obscure and confuse adversaries’ radars and disrupt enemy communications. With the advent of adaptive, frequency-agile radars and radios among U.S. competitors, jamming increasingly will require systems able to operate across wider swaths of the RF spectrum that can detect and disrupt adversary transmissions with the help of cognitive and machine learning algorithms.
While still cheaper than a missile, the rounds are more expensive than previously expected, as they require more advanced guidance systems to ensure that a simple GPS jammer doesn't render them inoperable.
This is still an incorrect statement. Even in you plugged in coordinates and had the drone fly an automated route it still relies on a gps signal for orientation, and gps can easily be jammed/spoofed.
GPS jamming is extremely common on the battlefield as well. The real difficulty would be inertial navigation, or terrain following cameras. Luckily inertial navigation is not only expensive, but it's difficult to get right, and can't update it's mission on the fly if it's being RF jammed.
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