Exelis upgrades and tests GPS threat detection technology

Exelis engineers have enhanced the company’s Signal Sentry 1000, which detects and locates sources of intentional and unintentional interference to GPS signals, with sensors that increase detection accuracy to better pinpoint the jamming source, enhanced analytics to recognize patterns of jamming, and history functionality to comprehend where interference happened and to follow its path. Jamming events can now be instantly reported via text or email so that appropriate resources may be deployed to an incident.

May 7th, 2015
Known vulnerabilities of global navigation satellite systems, status, and potential mitigation techniques
Known vulnerabilities of global navigation satellite systems, status, and potential mitigation techniques

Exelis engineers have enhanced the company’s Signal Sentry 1000, which detects and locates sources of intentional and unintentional interference to GPS signals, with sensors that increase detection accuracy to better pinpoint the jamming source, enhanced analytics to recognize patterns of jamming, and history functionality to comprehend where interference happened and to follow its path. Jamming events can now be instantly reported via text or email so that appropriate resources may be deployed to an incident.

Due to the broad availability of low-cost GPS jamming devices on the Internet, the risk associated with signal disruption has increased significantly, company officials affirm. GPS jammers are often used by criminals to conceal stolen cars and by commercial drivers whose intent is merely to hide their location from their employer. Truckers who used personal privacy GPS jammers near shipping ports have caused interference with the signal also used to navigate large ships, which severely compromised safety and the efficient operation of the port.

Signal Sentry leverages the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and is based on patented technology developed through the company's history of designing and fielding electronic intelligence systems. “

Signal Sentry was developed by Exelis to protect critical infrastructure and to deliver intelligence to police agencies. Since Signal Sentry has been used by law enforcement, we have been able to enhance the products investigative and intelligent-led policing capabilities,” explains Carl Slutsky, product line manager for Signal Sentry at Exelis. “Now, users can see patterns such as what happened and when and where it happened to better allocate their investigative resources.”

Exelis deployed and tested Signal Sentry 1000 during GPS jamming trials in Sennybridge, United Kingdom. Signal Sentry 1000 was able to detect and geolocate stationary and moving jammers in both open and obstructed environments.

The trials were managed and administered in the U.K. by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. Off-the-shelf jamming devices, available to purchase via the Internet, were used during the tests. Testing ranged from stationary jammers to jammers placed in cars driving through open fields and built-up areas at speeds of up to 40 mph. Signal Sentry 1000 successfully detected and located all GPS jamming during the trials.

Exelis developed Signal Sentry 1000 with Chronos Technology Ltd., which also took part in the trials. “The threat to GPS is being more widely recognized, and we know the risks are increasing,” says Charles Curry, founder and managing director, Chronos. “These tests confirm what we’ve known about Signal Sentry 1000 – it’s a practical solution to solving a real problem."

“Protecting critical GPS infrastructure is extremely important for public safety,” explains Mark Pisani, vice president and general manager of positioning, navigation, and timing for Exelis. “With Signal Sentry, we can identify a jammer located in a moving vehicle up to 10-meter (32.8 feet) accuracy.”

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