GPS Disruptions Reported in Mediterranean Sea

Earlier this month, three reports of GPS disruption in the waters surrounding Egypt were reported to the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN).

On August 7th, 2019, a maritime vessel in the Mediterranean Sea south of Sicily reported that its HDOP values fluctuated between 1.2 and 1.5 while its fix alarm was not showing. 

On August 12th, an hour-long GPS failure was reported in the waters near El Sheik, Egypt. The report states that “GPS connected devices exhibited failure first, followed by position failure on GPS units themselves.”

Merely two days later, on August 14th, GPS disruption was reported in the waters near Alexandra, Egypt. The report states:

“Disruption was steady and consistent for the first period (60min.) followed by a series of brief, intermittent losses of DGPS -DGPS was observed tracking between 0 (ZERO) and 4 (FOUR) satellites during the disruptions. -VHF voice polling of other (foreign flag) ships in close vicinity confirmed that they too were experiencing similar outages -Only 1 (ONE) DGPS unit was affected, confirmed same for other vessels in vicinity.”

According to NAVCEN, all three incidents correlate with the U.S. Maritime Advisory regarding recent GPS interference. On August 7th, the Transportation Department’s Maritime Administration issued a warning regarding Iranian interference of commercial vessels in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Gulf of Oman.  Since then, the federal agency has advised U.S. commercial vessels to take certain precautions.

The advisory was posted after six commercial vessels were attacked in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman.

Satelles’ Satellite Time and Location (STL) signals complement PNT service when GPS signals are disrupted. With the ability to operate across multiple platforms and an encrypted signal 1,000 times stronger than that of GNSS, STL serves as an excellent resource for maritime vessels.

To read more about GPS jamming in the Persian Gulf, click here: https://www.satellesinc.com/shipping-industry-faces-gps-jamming-in-persian-gulf/

To learn how STL can benefit the maritime industry, click here: https://www.maritime-executive.com/blog/detecting-and-defeating-gps-jamming

Sources: https://navcen.uscg.gov/?Do=GPSReportStatus