GIDAS: Real-time interference detection making satnav safer

A new monitoring system developed through an ESA-backed project works like a ‘bodyguard’ for satellite navigation in use at strategic or safety-critical sites. – © OHB Digital Solutions

“It’s simply a matter of output power,” say Andreas Lesch of Austria-based OHB Digital Solutions. “A navigation signal on the ground is equivalent to the light from a 60 watt lamp aboard a satellite, some 23,222 km away in space in the case of Galileo. So these faint signals can be jammed by more powerful local radio signals, either accidentally or deliberately, or even misleading fake navigation signals, known as ‘spoofing’.”

“Our new GNSS Interference Detection and Analysis System, GIDAS, is designed to safeguard critical infrastructure against jamming or spoofing, by performing continuous monitoring of key signal bands. By doing so, GIDAS can raise the alarm in real time, identify the type of interference then pinpoint the location of these dangerous portable devices causing the interference so the authorities can take immediate remedial action.”