BAE unveils world's smallest anti-jamming, anti-spoofing military GPS
BAE Systems has developed the world's smallest, lightest, and most power-efficient military M-Code GPS receiver. About the size of a postage stamp, the low-Size, Weight, And Power, (SWAP) MicroGRAMTM-M GPS receiver can be installed in handheld devices and drones, and is resistant to jamming and spoofing.
Though it's only been around in a practical sense for less than 30 years, GPS has rapidly grown into a core military technology. It not only guides ships and planes, it also helps to target missiles and even shells. It can pinpoint the location of individual soldiers and smooths the inherent chaos of logistical supply lines in addition to many other applications.
However, these improvements have come at the cost of sparking an electronic arms race as hostile powers strive to find ways to jam, spoof, or generally tamper with GPS systems to render them unreliable or even useless.
To prevent this, Western military forces have adopted the M-Code (Military-Code) signal. For obvious reasons, there aren't many details about M-Code that have been released to the public, but there are some general features that we know.
M-Code uses a PseudoRandom Noise (PRN) code transmitted at 5.115 MHz, though the length of this code is classified. This differs from earlier codes in that the receiver that uses it can operate autonomously rather than having to lock onto a specific kind of GPS transmission for verification.
In operation, the M-Code signal is transmitted in a high-power spot-beam from a GPS satellite, allowing it to punch through general jamming signals. The signals are encrypted and identified in such a way that the receiver can detect false signals and reject them. In addition, it can be received by friendly military forces while the civilian signal that the GPS satellites normally transmit is selectively jammed.
Measuring only 1.0 x 1.25 x 0.275 in (2.5 x 3.1 x 0.698 cm), the MicroGRAM-M is designed to be physically capable of being swapped out with its predecessor in GPS-equipped devices, but boasts rapid secure signal acquisition, enhanced security and resiliency, anti-jamming, and anti-spoofing capabilities, as well as the lowest power consumption of an M-Code device and a tamper-proof M-Code Common GPS Module to encapsulate classified data and signal processing.
"MicroGRAM-M is the latest BAE Systems M-Code military GPS product, joining MPETM-M and NavStrikeTM-M, which deliver enhanced awareness in highly contested environments and precision munitions guidance," says John Watkins, vice president and general manager of Precision Strike & Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems. "Qualification of MicroGRAM-M is underway, with full-rate production expected in 2022."
Source: BAE Systems