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Browsing by Subject "jamming"

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  • Lahtinen, Hanna (2024)
    Satellite positioning is vulnerable to interference due to the power of satellite signals. Satellite signals are exceptionally weak when they arrive to the Earth and therefore susceptible to radio frequency interference (RFI). This makes even low-power interference effective, possibly for radius of several kilometers. Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) services, such as positioning, navigation and timing services (PNT), are widely used among our society by civilians and authorities. Critical infrastructures, such as money transfer and electricity transmission networks, rely on accurate timing data provided by GNSS’s atomic clocks. These services are under a serious threat by RFI —intentionally created or not. In the areas that GNSS jamming signal can cover, the PNT services are most likely degraded or entirely unavailable. The easiest way to intentionally create RFI is to create jamming interference by broadcasting empty signal on satellite signal frequency with simple jamming radio devices aka jammers. Jammers disturb GNSS services by blocking entire positioning data or deteriorating positioning accuracy which leads to inaccurate location information. Jamming is an emerging global threat for GNSS services since jammers can be easily bought online, even though jamming is illegal in Europe and many other regions. Incentives for jamming differ by the user group of jamming equipment. Civilian jamming is mostly done with low-power jammers for protecting privacy by hiding location information and it is normally done without further knowledge about the effects for the surrounding environment. The more severe threat is done with high-power jamming equipment by professionals. This kind of interference has motives for either disturbance or denial of GNSS services or to defend against different location-based measures. Jamming and RFI are significant parts of electronic warfare. This study tested the usability of MATLAB’s RF Toolbox on simulating jamming signals horizontally in different topographies across Finland to demonstrate how spatially effective jamming actually is. Used jamming signals were simulated with four different powers on Galileo’s E1 and GPS’s L1 signal (1575.42 MHz) to exemplify the effects of different power interference. The simulations and inspection of signal propagation were done with MATLAB by visualizing the expected power of jamming signal and calculating propagation loss for receiver matrix above digital elevation model (DEM). The used method was not able to calculate propagation values for varying power and exact values for signal attenuation of jamming signal cannot be calculated with MATLAB. RFI is illegal in Finland, therefore field work is not possible for this kind of study. This study highlights the hindering or blocking effect of topography on jamming signal propagation alongside with the effectiveness of different jammer power levels. Signals obey signal propagation models, but topographic characteristics, such as hills, have an ability to hinder the propagation. The results emphasize the spatial effects of even low-power jammers that are used by civilians and accentuates the significance of topography to signal propagation. Effective jamming over different topographic characteristics can be conducted with even 500 mW jammer and increase of jammer power is able to cover extensive areas of irregular terrain. The most vulnerable areas to GNSS jamming are open, unbuilt areas. However, the impact of locally bounded urban jamming scenario is also severe to the population and infrastructures of the area.