Maritime groups call for international resolution against GNSS disruption

By on 10 July, 2019

Fourteen maritime associations have appealed to the U.S. Coast Guard to seek action by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to address interference with GNSS signals.

In a letter addressed to Admiral Karl Schultz, the U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, the groups have stated: “GNSS signals have become an important part of all maritime operations. Interfering with them places the efficiency and safety of maritime operations at risk and can impact the safety of life.”

Signatories include the Maritime Security Council, the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation, the United States Maritime Resource Center, the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association and the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services.

The groups have cited non-profit C4ADS’s report on Russian jamming and spoofing in the Black Sea and Syria, which claims over 10,000 instances of detected spoofing over two years, impacting over 1,300 vessels.

The report discussed ‘smart jamming’; a form of spoofing that involves the transmission of seemingly valid GPS signals that do not allow a receiver to calculate a location, but also not to report a fault.

The letter states that jamming and spoofing GNSS signals appear to be a clear violation of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) provisions to many.

The groups have urged the Admiral to raise the issue at the upcoming session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council from July 15th-19th, 2019, in London.

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