Jamming Your Satellite

While the idea of satellite jamming might conjure up some old lines from Spaceballs you thought you forgot years ago, it is serious business in the world of future satellite development. According to a report in the NewScientist, Parisian satellite company Eutelsat blamed "unidentified signal interference" for a service interruption last Tuesday that kept several European, Middle Eastern, and northeast African television and radio stations off the air until their transmissions could be transferred to another satellite.

"Theresa Hitchens of the Center for Defense Information think-tank in Washington DC, US, says there have been cases of deliberate satellite jamming in the past, but it is hard to see what motivation there would be in this instance.

"It’s really puzzling to me," she told New Scientist. "If it was accidental, why would they be so secretive about saying what the source was and if it’s deliberate, you’ve got to wonder why – it just seems to me to be an odd target, unless someone’s ticked off at the French," she says.

While no one appears to know whose responsible for the blockage quite yet, last week’s jamming seems eerily similar to those China experienced not too long ago and is now working to prevent (although the project is currently stalled).

Those interested in how this jamming works should check-out the great report dailywireless.org did about the technology and the process back in October.