Robust GPS/GNSS receivers have proven to work under simulated Ligado interference
Since its approval in April 2020, Ligado Networks has stirred up controversy and a wave of concern which has echoed through the United States Congress, the Department of Defense and many commercial market segments that are dependent on GPS for high accuracy positioning and timing applications. Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has stood by their decision that Ligado is safe enough for GPS receivers to continue operating reliably. Where then lies the truth, and can you count on GPS to keep delivering accurate and reliable Positioning, Navigation and Time (PNT)?
GPS receivers, robust to interference
Not all GPS/GNSS* receivers are made equal. Selected industrial GPS receivers with sophisticated built-in technology have already proven to be resilient to various kinds of radio interference. Such receivers have been shown to be robust enough to work reliably in conjunction with Ligado. But what actually is Ligado and why is it a concern for those using GPS/GNSS* positioning technology? Ligado Networks is a telecom company which has been granted the right to transmit signals at a frequency close to that of the GPS signals. The concern is that Ligado signals might “drown out” GPS signals, making it very difficult for an unprepared or legacy GPS receiver to calculate accurate positioning. This stems from the fact that GPS signals are broadcast from space and are quite weak by the time they reach the Earth. While Ligado is planning to create a 5G telecom network, broadcasting from a terrestrial source. A GPS receiver is then faced with a challenge of discerning the “quiet” GPS signals from the “loud” Ligado.