Unmanned Systems News

New GPS Firewall Provides Security Against Spoofing and Jamming Threats

Published: 29 Sep 2017 by

Microsemi Bluesky GPS Firewall

Microsemi Corporation has announced the recent development of a new approach to protecting critical infrastructure against GPS spoofing and jamming threats with the introduction of its BlueSky GPS Firewall. Designed to provide security protection for GPS-delivered position, navigation and timing (PNT) data, the BlueSky GPS Firewall solution can be deployed in-line between any standard GPS antenna, such as those on drones or other unmanned systems, and stationary GPS receiver to provide protection against GPS signal incidents, both intentional or accidental, before they enter a GPS receiver system. In response to the growing number of GPS incidents and their potential threat to critical infrastructure, and to assist customers in rapid adoption, Microsemi is making BlueSky GPS Firewall Evaluation kits available in advance of the full production release of the solution.

The dependency on PNT is increasingly important to critical infrastructure sectors such as telecommunications, transportation, and emergency services, and is mainly provided through GPS. Published best practice documents by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) describe steps that can be taken to mitigate outages and disruptions with GPS reception. In alignment with these documents, Microsemi’s new BlueSky GPS Firewall provides critical infrastructure sectors with a first line of defense against GPS threats to help build out a secure, robust and resilient PNT platform for their infrastructures.

Microsemi’s BlueSky GPS Firewall filters the GPS signal in real time, removing anomalies from the GPS signal before it is consumed by the downstream GPS receiver. This creates an intelligent and secure barrier against jamming and spoofing, and prevents the GPS receiver from being impacted by such incidents. Deployment of the BlueSky GPS Firewall does not require any new cabling or alteration of the pre-existing antenna installation and is interoperable with standard GPS receivers. Additionally, the BlueSky GPS Firewall incorporates an Ethernet interface for remote management and monitoring and includes a secure web interface that any browser can use for configuration and set-up of the device.

“Worldwide critical infrastructure dependency on unprotected GPS receivers is a serious security risk. These receivers are susceptible to jamming and spoofing incidents and the industry recognizes this as an increasing threat,” said Randy Brudzinski, vice president and business unit manager of Microsemi’s Frequency and Time division. “The vast number of GPS systems already in operation means a significant investment would be required if every system was to be replaced. Microsemi’s BlueSky GPS Firewall is a cost-effective and easy-to-deploy solution to protect GPS without requiring replacement of deployed GPS systems.”

The BlueSky GPS Firewall includes a broad range of data validation rules based on real, live sky GPS threats, both intentional and unintentional. Similar to network security threats, new GPS vulnerabilities are on the rise and Microsemi is continuously tracking GPS signal manipulation including spoofing threats, jamming attacks, multipath signal interference, atmospheric activity and many other issues that can create GPS signal anomalies, disruptions and outages. These advancements are incorporated into the software platform of the BlueSky GPS Firewall, which can be updated remotely using Microsemi’s TimePictra management system.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact

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