How Do GPS Jammers Work?

The most basic way GPS jammers operate is to interfere with the signals from a satellite that GPS receivers receive. By sending radio signals in a range that overwhelms the satellite’s signal, the jammer disrupts the GPS signals and renders the device useless. It’s a simple, inexpensive and effective technique that is used by thieves to thwart their targets’ attempts to trace their location.

Another method of blocking GPS is called “spoofing.” This technique uses a different signal to trick a GPS receiver into thinking it’s receiving a legitimate GPS signal. It is a more complex and sophisticated form of jamming, but it can be just as deadly.

GPS jamming can also cause disruption to critical infrastructures, such as time-sensitive systems that rely on GPS for synchronization. Many such systems require a GPS signal to be within millionths of a second or their system can’t function properly.

As a result, the loss of a GPS signal can interrupt important services, such as time-sensitive data transmissions and communication with emergency personnel. For example, if a hospital or other critical medical facility loses its ability to track patients or coordinate deliveries, it can become impossible for doctors and nurses to provide care and treatment.

It can also be dangerous for pilots, who can be unable to navigate without GPS. According to the Aviation Safety Reporting System, there have been several cases in which commercial aircraft have lost GPS and ended up off course, potentially causing them to crash into other aircraft or worse.

The military, for instance, has been known to use jammers around bases during military exercises in order to simulate a real-world situation where there could be a breakdown in navigation.

Some companies are taking action against GPS jamming and trying to make sure it doesn’t happen in their workplaces. Geotab, for example, has a policy against using them on its fleet tracking devices.

If a renegade employee is caught using a GPS jammer, it will show up on the live tracking map and trip history map as a missing or interrupted trip. It will even appear when the driver plugs in the jammer during their journey and a line will be drawn from the start of the jamming to where it stopped.

For this reason, GPS jammers are a red flag for both employees and managers. Besides being a privacy concern, drivers who employ them also risk losing access to important vehicle information.

Getting the right information about your vehicles and their health is vital to your company’s success, especially in areas where compliance audits are common or fines are a possibility. GPS tracking is a crucial element of many businesses’ fleets, and the ability to track the health of these vehicles can save money and prevent costly maintenance.

But if GPS jamming is being used by a rogue field service rep, the results can be even more serious for your business. In addition to preventing accurate vehicle tracking, GPS jammers can also stop managers from monitoring drivers’ behavior and their vehicles’ health.