GPS

NATIONAL HARBOR: As the US shifts its focus from low-tech Taliban “cavemen” to an aggressively modernizing China, the Air Force has launched an urgent effort to find near-term countermeasures against a foe that can jam sensors, hack networks, disrupt communications, and shut down GPS.

“Mostly we’re looking at the next three to five years,” said Randall Walden, the director of information dominance programs under the service’s assistant secretary for acquisition. On that schedule, he said, “you’re not talking about a brand new system. You’re not even talking about cutting a hole in a current plane [to modify it]. You’re talking about pods and concepts.” Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: It has all the hallmarks of what could have become a very embarrassing political and technical scandal. A company called LightSquared got provisional permission from the chairman of the FCC to go ahead with a 4G system that the military said — unequivocally — would jam the crucial signals from Global Positioning System satellites.

The company is politically connected and plays tough on Capitol Hill. Although tests by GPS companies and by the government’s National Telecommunications and Information Assurance Administration have demonstrated to most government officials’ satisfaction that LightSquared’s technology would jam GPS receivers and signals, the company continues to argue that the tests are questionable or that the company can fix the issues raised by the tests. Keep reading →