Friday, March 22, 2024

FlightRadar's New GPS Jamming Map

FlightRadar's GPS jamming map showing high levels of GPS interference around the Black Sea

Yesterday the live real-time global plane tracking website FlightRadar released a new interactive map which detects and tracks interference and jamming of GPS signals across the world. The map uses a simple to understand colored overlay to show in near real-time areas around the globe currently experiencing levels of interference to global navigation satellite systems.  

GPS jamming involves intentionally blocking or interfering with GPS signals using a device called a GPS jammer. GPS jammers transmit radio signals on the same frequency as GPS satellites, making it difficult for GPS receivers to pick up the real GPS satellite signals that they need to function. A GPS device receiving a jammed signal will therefore be unable to determine its location and/or become inaccurate.

As you might expect GPS jamming is often experienced in conflict zones. For example in 2022 Space reported that Russia was jamming GPS signals during its invasion of Ukraine. It has also been widely reported that since the recent joining of NATO by Finland and Norway the Baltic region has seen a marked increase of GPS jamming (undoubtedly by Russia).

FlightRadar's new GPS Jamming Map analyzes NIC (navigation integrity category) data to determine where in the world GPS signals are currently being jammed or experiencing interference. NIC is a metric used to determine the quality and the consistency of navigational data received by aircraft and this metric indicates the reliability of an aircraft's position data. FlightRadar uses the NIC values of planes around the world to determine where GPS jamming or interference is currently affecting GPS signals.

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