Finally, the experts deliberately simulated a simple, commercially available signal jammer. Although these low-tech devices are used illegally in the US, UK, and many other countries, they can be purchased over the internet for as little as $ 30. Sellers say they are trying to protect privacy. Because they can block devices that record vehicle movements, they are popular with truck drivers who do not want to use electronic spies in the cab. You can also block GPS-based road tolls collected through on-board receivers. Some criminals use them to beat stolen stalkers. “We had originally hoped that disorganized young people could put the jammer in their rooms,” said Last. “But now they are made in factories in China.
The final concern is that the interferer could do as much damage to Earth as he found on Galatea, and he is not alone. In November 2010, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) warned the Space Positioning, Navigation and Timing Executive Committee that jamming devices could cause disasters in cities if activated. It is not known how many there are, but the panel is concerned that the risk of interference will increase rapidly. In the future, devices called “spoofers” (which cleverly trick GPS receivers into giving them incorrect readings) can make the problem worse (see “Make it a problem”).
Last year’s incident at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey showed that a single jammer can cause interference. The airport controller installed a new GPS-based landing system so that the aircraft could not see well. But it should be closed once or twice a day. It took months to find the culprit: a driver on a nearby toll road in New Jersey used a portable Wi-Fi jammer to avoid paying highway tolls. The truck driver had to come by twice a day and paralyzed the airport when he passed.
Without GPS, air traffic control will neither function nor train routes for future generations. The United States Federal Railroad Administration uses GPS at the heart of its intelligent rail traffic management program. GPS is also increasingly dependent on the orientation of the emergency services on the scene.