HawkEye 360 Inc. recently announced the capability to detect and geolocate Global Positioning System (GPS) interference, with analysis of data over Ukraine revealing extensive GPS interference activity. HawkEye 360 uses satellites to monitor radio frequency signals for interference that might threaten military and civil navigation applications. The capability was tested last year in a variety of exercises and is currently available as part of HawkEye 360’s RFGeo signal product catalog.
When HawkEye 360 analysts examined Ukraine over the past four months, they discovered continued and increased GPS interference across the region. The data showed extensive GPS interference in November 2021 along the boundary of the pro-Russian separatist-controlled regions in Luhansk and Donetsk. Open-source information confirmed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) operating in the area were disrupted due to lost GPS connections.
In February of 2022, HawkEye 360 detected GPS interference along the border between Ukraine and Belarus, shortly before the Russian invasion started. This February activity occurred just north of Chernobyl, within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, demonstrating the integration of electronic warfare (EW) tactics into Russian military operation to further degrade Ukraine’s ability for self-defense.
Interference can be inadvertent by equipment operating too close to GPS frequency bands. However, deliberate interference has spiked across the globe due to the low cost, ease of deployment, and general availability of GPS jamming technology. Military forces use GPS jammers to obscure and protect critical troops, facilities, and equipment from attack and can be a leading indicator of future military activity. Drug cartels use GPS jammers to deter surveillance from overhead drones. Use of jammers is illegal in most developed nations.
HawkEye 360’s detection product offers a valuable capability to monitor for illicit and unintentional GPS interference that can significantly disrupt critical location services, representing the company’s global commitment to make the world a safer place.
“GPS is a fundamental ‘global commons’ service that all modern economies depend upon. GPS signal interference has the potential to significantly disrupt air travel, logistics, finance, transportation, communication, and many other basic services,” said John Serafini, Chief Executive Officer of HawkEye 360. “Whether unintentional or deliberate, interference that prevents people, vehicles, ships, and planes from determining accurate locations can be devastating to government and commercial activities alike. Since HawkEye 360 can monitor hundreds of millions of square kilometers daily, we are able to notify clients when and where GPS interference occurs, so they can respond quickly to mitigate the impacts.”
HawkEye 360 is delivering a revolutionary source of global knowledge based on radio frequency (RF) geospatial intelligence to those working to make the world a safer place. The company operates the first-of-its-kind commercial satellite constellation to detect, characterize, and geolocate a broad range of RF signals. This unique RF data and analytics equip our global customers with high-impact insights needed to make decisions with confidence. HawkEye 360 is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia.