Humphreys and company were recently invited by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to demonstrate whether their capability to successfully spoof commercial GPS systems in the laboratory could work in the field.
Spoofing, as defined in this article by UT researchers, is “the transmission of matched-GPS-signal-structure interference in an attempt to commandeer the tracking loops of a victim receiver and thereby manipulate the receiver’s timing or navigation solution. A spoofer can transmit its counterfeit signals from a stand-off distance of several hundred meters or it can be co-located with its victim.”
The UT researchers took equipment costing about $1000 to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico last week and showed observers from both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and DHS how control of a test drone could be taken away from its original overseers. The UT researchers, as the above article notes, have been able to take control of basically every type of unencrypted commercial GPS system in their laboratory.