DoD weapons testers to evaluate cybersecurity of GPS satellites, floor system and person gear


DoD’s workplace of operational take a look at and analysis will assess “the survivability of the complete GPS enterprise in a contested area surroundings”

WASHINGTON — The Protection Division’s weapons testing workplace will assess the efficiency and cybersecurity of the U.S. International Positioning System as an “enterprise” that features the GPS constellation in orbit but in addition the bottom management system and the units used to obtain GPS information.

DoD’s workplace of operational testing and analysis in its newest annual report launched Jan. 27 mentioned it plans to start a cyber evaluation of the GPS floor management system often known as OCX in late 2022, adopted by the preliminary operational testing of the GPS enterprise in 2023.

Rising threats to U.S. area programs “warrant an enough cyber evaluation of the GPS enterprise, to incorporate GPS automobiles previous to launch,” mentioned the report, written Nickolas Guertin, the Protection Division’s director of operational take a look at and analysis.

The way to correctly take a look at GPS towards potential threats has been a long-time concern of the DoD testing workplace. DoD testers have identified in earlier reviews that the GPS satellites, the bottom management system and the person receivers ought to be examined as an built-in enterprise slightly than as separate parts. They famous that when army forces deploy in fight, they want all segments of GPS to carry out as an built-in system. 

The report mentioned the U.S. House Power’s GPS program workplace “continues to develop an area risk plan to adequately consider the survivability of the complete GPS enterprise in a contested area surroundings that features kinetic engagements, cyber, electromagnetic spectrum fires, nuclear, and directed power weapons.”

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The GPS constellation of 31 satellites orbits the Earth at an altitude of 20,000 kilometers and is operated by the U.S. House Power like a world utility, broadcasting positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) alerts which can be essential to the every day functioning of the civilian financial system and important to each side of army operations. The newer GPS 3 satellites broadcast a stronger sign referred to as M-code, quick for army code.

Guertin within the report famous that “full management of modernized civil and M-code alerts and navigation warfare capabilities, in addition to improved cybersecurity, proceed to be delayed because of ongoing growth and deployment delays of the following era operational management system (OCX), together with delays within the fielding of M-code succesful receivers to be used by the U.S. and allied warfighters.”

Due to the complicated nature and variety of anti-satellite threats, DoD might want to put money into extra superior testing infrastructure, Guertin wrote. 

“Crucial DoD area belongings are probably topic to a variety of adversarial assaults, together with directed power weapons, kinetic threats, cyberattacks, electromagnetic spectrum fires, and nuclear weapons. To adequately consider the survivability of U.S. area programs towards such engagements and mitigate any recognized vulnerabilities, the Division requires area vary infrastructure, instrumentation, and excessive fidelity-threat surrogates.”