GPS anti-jammer available

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Lockheed Martin Corp. has developed an anti-jam device for Global Positioning System receivers that it considers "breakthrough technology ready for production today" with applications ranging from Air Force missiles to commercial airliners to cellular telephones equipped with geolocation systems.

Stephen Ramsey, vice president of aerospace systems for Lockheed Martin Federal Systems in Owego, N.Y., said the new GPS anti-jam receiver represents "[Technology that is] a full generation more advanced in performance than systems available today...[and] represents a significant step toward our goal of ensuring GPS availability to friendly forces in the presence of interference."

Top military officials have long expressed concern about the ability of an enemy to jam the relatively weak GPS signals, with Vice Adm. Herb Browne, vice commander of the U.S. Space Command, warning last week that GPS users should be "terrified" of jamming, adding that the technology used in microwave ovens can be easily adapted to GPS jammers.

Steve Laabs, a Lockheed Martin business development manager, said the new GPS anti-jam receiver — developed at a cost of $12 million under the Air Force's navigation warfare program — will first be used to protect the Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off Missile, a "smart" weapon that relies on GPS to provide precision guidance to a target.

Frank Meyer, president of Lockheed Martin's Electronics Platform Integration division, speaking here at a press conference at the Association of the United States Army's winter convention, said that although Lockheed Martin developed the first anti-jammer specifically for the missile, its technology can be applied to many other GPS projects, including the FAA's Wide Area Augmentation System with a "dumbed down" version a good candidate for cell phones that use GPS for geolocation.

Laab said the Lockheed Martin anti-jammer uses digital technology to detect jamming signals and null them, as well as digitally "steer" a receiver antenna towards the GPS satellites and away from signals from the jammer.

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