GPS problems pose security concerns for the US

GPS problems pose security concerns for the US

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Washington, US: The most recent upgrade to the GPS ground control segment created an incompatibility issue with a specific type of military GPS receiver used on at least 86 different US weapon systems, some of which cannot be used until the problem is fixed, according to the US Air Force.

examiner.com has reported that GPS problems were already warned on page 85 of the 2009 book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect.  This was partially due to the technical problems and budgetary problems that the USA was (and still is) having.  Furthermore, the book speculates that these problems will mean that the USA will likely rely on Europe’s upcoming Galileo system for part of its space defence.

But it is not just technical and budget problems that GPS is having.  Even solar flares are causing problems for the USA in space. Read our two previous reports:
Solar flares may severely affect GPS signals
Researchers find solar flares can cause GPS receivers to fail

In current circumstances, approximately 8,000 to 10,000 Selective Availability Anti-SpoofingModule (SAASM) GPS receivers deployed in a variety of weapon systems are having trouble authenticating a new messaging format implemented as part of an upgrade to the GPS Operational Control Segment, the Air Force said. The prime contractor for the GPS ground system is Boeing Defense, Space & Security of St. Louis. Boeing spokeswoman Diana Ball said that she was not aware of any problem with the GPS ground system.

The only other affected weapon system the Air Force identified by name is the US Navy’s X-47B, an unmanned combat aerial vehicle demonstrator built by Northrop Grumman. According to the Air Force, the Navy’s X-47B programme office is losing almost USD 1 million per day while the vehicle is grounded.

The Air Force said via Federal Business Opportunities website that it gave a USD 900,000 contract in February to the receivers’ maker — Trimble Advanced & Military Systems of Sunnyvale, Calif., — to help the Air Force Space Command’s GPS Wing track down and modify the affected hardware.

The Air Force Space Command’s Los Angeles-based GPS Wing has assembled a User Equipment Crisis Action Team to contact military users around the world, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, to verify whether they have any of the affected Trimble receivers in their equipment.

Source: space.com, examiner.com