Anti-Jamming Technology Goes Commercial

The Times reported yesterday that Boeing is looking to put anti-jamming technology previously reserved only for the military on commercial satellites used by business and the communications industry. According to the article,

"Anti-jamming technology is already used by military and spy satellites, but proposals to install similar protection in the 250 large satellites in commercial operation have been prompted by the threat of disruption.

The successful jamming of video, data, or voice signals by individuals or groups could jeopardise the millions of dollars spent on just a handful of satellites, operators fear.

Such jamming of government navigation satellites has already occurred, according to Lieutenant General Robert Kehler of the US Air Force, ‘as has jamming of commercial telecommunications satellites.’"

Space.com has a great background report on Spy Satellites for those who want to know a little bit more about the technology and the American Military and Intelligence communities uses of the technology. While Spy Satellites have been used for quite a long time, even the latest anti-jamming technologies are unable to prevent detection, the spy satellite holy grail. While satellite project, such as MISTY, have been able to avoid detection by laser and microwave radar, none has been able to completely avoid visible detection, a limitation which has prompted the emergence of a small, but strong spy satellite monitoring enthusiast community.

Oh, and for those of you who might be worried about the commercial anti-jamming technologies making it into the wrong hands, it looks like your not alone. While Boeing seems confident that they’ll win it, the U.S. government does have to approve the use of the "top secret" anti-jamming technology on commercial satellites before the company can start introducing it on products sold to foreign customers.

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