GNSS Interference Testing

Civil and military entities conduct Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver performance tests in peacetime to verify the resilience and behaviour of the tested systems against jamming and spoofing. The purpose of this testing is to improve their readiness to operate in a degraded environment.

Such GNSS interference testing can have an adverse impact on many user segments (aviation, maritime, or terrestrial). As a high percentage of civilian aircraft operating today are equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, interference will seriously disrupt their operations and may very well create significant ATM issues.  If GNSS interference testing activities are uncoordinated, these activities might seriously impact not only aviation but also all other sectors relying on GNSS as a positioning and/or timing source (e.g. railway, sea transport, power grids, mobile telecommunications, etc).  This is especially true if those testing activities go beyond the limit of their intended geographical scope. Therefore, such tests require prior risk analysis, coordination with all involved parties, and compliance with national regulations and procedures.

GNSS provides a positioning and timing solution which is not only used for navigation, but also for aeronautical communication and surveillance applications. Therefore, GNSS interference testing activities need to be well planned, notified and carefully executed to avoid placing aeronautical GNSS users in a hazardous environment which would impact the safety of operations.

The ‘EUROCONTROL Guidelines on a Process for Civil and Military GNSS Interference Testing’ details a process to plan, notify and execute GNSS interference testing activities with the aim of minimising its impact on aviation. The process has been developed in line with international standards, regulations, existing civil-military coordination arrangements, and best practices, and is dependent on the geographic scope of the GNSS interference testing:

  •   Within national borders;
  •   Cross border(s);
  •   High seas.

The document can be found here.

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