GPS Spoofing

Looks like Mother Russia has some serious capabilities

It is easy. $25 in parts from Radio Shack and you can blow up everything with 0.5nm. $200 and you can take out a whole port. Figure, 1960’s technology would be a cinch to hack.

This is why the USCG is working hard on getting ELoran going which is less susceptible to hacking, disruption, and EMP’s. Write your Congressperson and get them to give a money to the Coast Guard for this and NMC.

And to think that the CG was getting close to being able to transition us from Loran-C to eLoran when our government, (specifically the Obama administration, with the assist going to Congress for going along with it) committed what I view as one of the bigger strategic blunders in domestic policy & spending of the relatively recent past.

And who stood up for eLoran? Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. I wish there was a way to make duplicates of her to populate the rest of Congress with.

It was painful to hear about the CG being ordered to dynamite those towers as they dismantled the old system. We were so close.

I’m in constant contact with my Congressmen telling them not to give the USCG another penny for anything until they shut NMC down and return licensing to the RECs.

When Loran was deauthorized in the US, at USCG request, the USCG knew that was a very bad navigational decision that Congress would later revisit, so the USCG rushed to blow up the Loran towers so that they could not be forced to reactivate them. The USCG doesn’t want anything to do with Loran.

If we are going to have Loran in the US again, and I think we should, some agency other than the USCG should handle it.

I say we wait til the Norwegians design zLoran and hire them to use cheap foreign labor to install the equipment on our coast line.


That would be a breeze for Norwegian technology wizards.

To find cheap foreign workers to put up the necessary infrastructure required on the North American continent would be no problem. They can be hired locally right there.

FYI: For Norwegian firms ALL foreign labour looks cheap by comparison, But unfortunately, if they are required for work in Norway they have to be paid Norwegian wages, with Norwegian benefits.

My biggest concern is the effect on an autonomous ships. I can see unmanned ships running into each other, and aground.

All the more reason to keep live people on the bridge double checking the accuracy of the equipment, and able to go old school.

If this only apply to the American GPS system there are already backup, with more to come.
Since GPS is an US Armed Forces controlled system the rest of the world has felt a need to have alternatives.

Russia already have their system (GLANOSS) up and running and available for international use. Many newer SatNav receivers can use both. BTW; This is the system used for EPIRB/ SARSAT worldwide.

The European system is operative but not yet with sufficient satellites to cover the earth. It is NOT military controlled and more accurate than GPS.

India and China also have/are developing their system, but not sure if they are open to all users.

Here is some info on what is there and planned:

The U.S. Coast Guard’s advice about GPS and all satnav - “Trust But Verify.”

WTF is that supposed to mean?


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There was also a complete lack of interest for eloran by the media and the tech community. I published numerous acticles on gCaptain about it but no other paper took up the issue and only one blogger seemed to care (the excellent I also drove ip to San Francisco and spoke at few tech conferwnces but they didn’t seem to care either… which I thought was crazy considering who knows what new technologies could have used the system.



Ironic since that’s a Russian proverb too… :joy:


The Russian system works primarily because equipment manufacturers have figured out how to compensate for its considerable flaws.

The European system is a joke. We do not need more accuracy, certainly not down to centimeters. What we do need is a fully separate system built completely different from GPS to provide a solution that compensates for the weeknesses in GPS (which is an aging technology!)… the original deaign for it provided exactly this but the politicians in Brussels decided to and a provission to assure its compatible with GPS technology. This is like saying we are goig to build a new supercomputer but load it with DOS… then when the budget cutters came in they said “why do we need a super computer if we are just going to run DOS? Why not build something cheaper?” The result is that they basically spent €€€€€ copying our antiqualted and flawed system with the only positive being that the US military can’t shut it down.

And even that’s a joke. If the US Military decides they want to shut down GPS they are going to shut down GLONASS and Galileo too… which, as mentioned, is too not difficult for anyone to do.

Eloran, on the other hand, was based off completely different technology from GPS making it very difficult to spoof both systems simultaneously. BTW the USA got the idea for a completely seperate and redundant system from the original Galileo specs! :headbang::headbang:

So, yes, The European system (Galileo) is better (marginally) than GPS and not at the mercy of Uncle Sam. But how, exactly, does that help any of us?

It will be better on Northern latitudes, GPS is quite bad if you have to work on the North side of big offshore installations. Working on Statfjord, Gullfaks and Oseberg fields you will often lose one or both dgps reference systems. Galileo would fix that problem.


When the US decided to turn off the Selective Availability (SA) function for commercial users back in the early 2000’s, thus allowing higher accuracy of GPS without differential signals, we did an experiment during a rig move in the Gulf of Thailand by running both DGPS and Stand-alone GPS simultaneously and comparing the positions continuously.
The difference between the two were never more than 5 m. at any time during the 2 days or so this was run, with the rig both moving and stationary.
For accurate final positioning we run multiple passe over time with both systems. The difference was even less. (Forgot how much though)
The conclusion was that DGPS was still needed to get the accuracy required.

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I believe the same applies when when using DGPS in the fjords, since the differential signals are obtained from geostationary communication satellites over Equator?

Back in 1989 I was Towmaster for Micoperi. When holding a tow in Vardalsfjorden, waiting on weather, I got p*ssed off by continuous calls on Inmarsat from the office in Milan, wanting to know when we could move on, reminding me that the M-7000 was waiting, costing USD 300,000/day. (USD 12,500/hr).
I eventually instructed the Master on the lead tug to move closer to the south side of the fjord. He couldn’t understand the reason at first, until he realized that it got very quite on the Sat-C.

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I may or may not have done similar things to this to kill the VSAT phone from time to time sitting in port where the boat cell phone is a million times better and the office is trying to communicate important stuff on a laggy, broken connection instead. :grin:

They also equipped me with not one but TWO of these “mobile phones” for the Nordic network:

Two because it took many hours to charge the battery, after one hour of use or so.

I also had the first type of Telefax machines that could work on that network.

“Unfortunately” the coverage was patchy still in 1989.

1989 is the stone age now. Who was your Chief Mate, Fred Flintstone or Barney Rubble? :slight_smile:

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Here is the translation in simple English even I can understand. I used a decoder ring I found in a box of Cracker Jack®. It means, “We don’t want to be legally responsible. Good luck!”