Disruptive factors of GPS

GPS has become an integral part of everyday life and we rely on it every day. However, this system is far from infallible. This is because there are many different factors that can interfere with GPS signals, ranging from distortion to complete signal interference.

Signal prevention

Signal obstruction is caused by being in places that do not offer a clear view of the sky. It can happen that the navigation system in the car does not work because it is in the garage. Even the GPS device you take with you on a hike can be disturbed, simply because you are under too dense a canopy or too close to steep rock faces. This means that if the navigation device does not work once, simply try again in the open air to avoid possible obstructions.

Signal distortion

Signal distortion can be caused by many things and to varying degrees. The satellites that send the signals are outside any sphere. However, the signals can easily be deflected in the ionosphere or the troposphere due to different densities. Another interference factor is the effect of multiple reflections, which mainly occurs in the vicinity of other transmitters or electrical installations. This effect can distort the result of the GPS data by several centimeters. For this reason, selecting a location for antennas is not always easy.

The next effect will also be triggered by other signals. Interference occurs when signals of similar frequency overlap in such a way that they cancel each other out. The signal doesn’t even have to be from the immediate vicinity. Television, radar, radio data or GPS signals from older systems can be used for this purpose. Of course, there is appropriate jamming technology that is not legally accessible to private individuals, but is only available to the military or for sowing.

Navigation is hardly possible without GPS these days, but the signals are very susceptible to interference. However, these can usually be remedied by changing position or waiting a short time.

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