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GNSS Jamming: How to test the risks to safety-critical and liability-critical systems


The reliance on GNSS signals for positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) has made radio frequency (RF) interference from signal jamming a growing threat across various industries. Whether intentional or unintentional, jamming can significantly impact the performance of GNSS receivers, including those used for safety-critical and liability-critical operations. Therefore, developers and integrators of GNSS receivers must understand the risks presented by jamming and implement mitigation measures to protect the receivers and their users.

This white paper is aimed at designers and developers of GNSS chipsets and modules, as well as organizations integrating GNSS receivers into safety-critical or liability-critical systems. It discusses the increasing threat from GNSS signal jamming and the unpredictable effects it can have on GNSS receivers. The paper emphasizes the importance of thoroughly testing receivers to understand how they behave in different jamming scenarios, and it provides an example test description from Spirent's library of interference test packs. 

The threat from jamming is continuously evolving, as jamming equipment becomes more accessible. Jamming may be used to disable vehicles and operations for personal gain, or testing military equipment, which poses risks to civilian users within the jamming area. 

Furthermore, the growing threat from adjacent-band interference (ABI) adds complexity to the situation, as the radio spectrum is allocated to terrestrial communications providers closer to the GNSS bands. GNSS receiver developers and integrators must continuously monitor the evolving threats, conduct regular risk assessments against prevalent threats, and implement appropriate mitigation measures to protect the system and its end users. 

In this paper, Spirent considers:

  • What GNSS jamming is

  • How jammers affect GNSS receivers

  • What mitigation strategies are available to developers and integrators

  • How to test a system for robustness

  • How Spirent helps our customers to develop reliable, high-performance products

Download the White Paper