The GAARDIAN (GNSS Availability Accuracy Reliability anD Integrity Assessment for timing and Navigation)project was part funded through the Technology Strategy Board via their “Gathering Data in Complex Environments” research grant and set out to create a network of GPS interference, detection and monitoring (IDM) sensors that could be deployed in the vicinity of Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) dependent infrastructure and applications. These sensors had a design brief to monitor the integrity, reliability, continuity and accuracy of the locally received GPS signals on a round-the-clock basis and report back to a central server which acted as the user interface. Users were to be alerted in real time to any anomalous behaviour in the GPS signals and would view data via a web interface.
The project used an algorithm developed by the University of Bath to assess the quality of the received GPS signal and identify erratic or anomalous behaviour. This allowed rare events to be detected without communicating and centrally storing vast amounts of unnecessary data. The research project enabled, for the first time, real events caused by vehicle mounted GPS Jammers to be detected and analysed. As GAARDIAN evolved, the capability to detect came to the awareness of the Law Enforcement Agency ACPO-ITS and a new Technology Strategy Board project SENTINEL (GNSS SErvices Needing Trust In Navigation, Electronics, Location & timing) was born under the TSB’s “Trusted Services” research grant initiative. Other partners within the SENTINEL consortium included The General Lighthouse Authorities, Ordnance Survey, National Physical Laboratory and Thatcham Vehicle Security.
The GAARDIAN and SENTINEL research projects have furthered the general understanding of the emerging threat posed by these low cost GPS jammers and how this threat is evolving. Two significant new product areas are evolving from this research including systems for detecting and locating GPS Jammers. These are networked jamming detection and hand-held jamming detection. These research initiatives have also placed the UK at the forefront of research into this particular and rather specialist aspect of the cyber security phenomena.