Antenna Characterization for UAV Based GPS Jammer Localization

Adrien Perkins, Louis Dressel, Sherman Lo and Per Enge

Abstract: The increased integration of GPS in the airspace to improve efficiency and enhance safety comes with an increased risk of harm from a GPS jamming device. In an effort to protect the airspace of the future from the effects of GPS jammers by rapidly mitigating their effects, we are developing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) based solution for the localization of a jammer that can operate at an airport. The development of this UAV solution is centered on two main areas: the localization of the jammer and navigation in a denied environment. In this paper, we examine developments in the first area, the localization of the jammer. This paper examines the two primary components of our localization system: radio frequency (RF) detection and a navigation control scheme for localization. The RF detection component uses a directional antenna and the UAV’s ability to rotate to determine a bearing to the jammer. The navigation control scheme selects a trajectory leading to bearing measurements that allow rapid localization of the jammer. The ability to make reliable bearing measurements is paramount to quickly localizing the jammer. The research in this paper analyzes our directional antenna and three bearing calculation methods: max, cross-correlation, and a modification of max leveraging the shape of the antenna’s main lobe (referred to as max3 in this paper). Flight test data is used to analyze the performance of these methods at various distances from the jammer. Localization is achieved by determining and moving to the best locations to make signal observations and merging these observations to get an accurate estimate of jammer location. In order to pick measurement locations that minimize localization time, we’ve formulated the problem of picking these locations as a partially observable Markov decision process (POMDP). This closed-loop controller determines the next measurement location given the information gathered from prior measurements. Flight tests with this control scheme were performed and are presented in this paper. The effect of bearing measurement quality on the decision-making is also shown.
Published in: Proceedings of the 28th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2015)
September 14 - 18, 2015
Tampa Convention Center
Tampa, Florida
Pages: 1684 - 1695
Cite this article: Perkins, Adrien, Dressel, Louis, Lo, Sherman, Enge, Per, "Antenna Characterization for UAV Based GPS Jammer Localization," Proceedings of the 28th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2015), Tampa, Florida, September 2015, pp. 1684-1695.
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