IDEX 2021: SIGN4L EDGE subdivision introduces NavControl-G to enable GPS spoofing to counter UAVs


A subdivision of EDGE, SIGN4L, a dynamic provider of agile and adaptive electronic warfare and intelligence (EW&I) solutions and an EDGE subdivision, launched NavControl-G, a specialized counter-drone capability at IDEX 2021, the land defense exhibition that was held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 


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The transmitter unit of the NavControl-G counter-drone system was unveiled at IDEX 2021, International Land Defense Exhibition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Picture source Army Recognition)


NavControl-G is a sophisticated transmitter unit designed to help prevent unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from trespassing into specific locations. To help safeguard a sensitive area, the system can emulate GPS signals to generate position and timing inaccuracies, thereby taking control of non-cooperating unmanned vehicles. Encased in a shock-proof container, the system can be seamlessly integrated across multiple configurations - either in fixed locations or deployed on the field when required.

SIGN4L brings a startup ethos to designing and producing state-of-art open-architecture digital and RF-based security products and services for governments and businesses in the region. The company has implemented a rigorous cycle of threat analysis, research, and development to monitor, analyze and counter emerging risks.

The NaVControl-G system consists of one jammer mast and a portable computer with software that is fully developed in the United Arab Emirates. It can intercept de GPS receiver of the drone and takes control using a portable computer interface. The system can control any type of drone and land anywhere at a maximum distance of 50 km. A drone GPS spoofer sends fake signals that mimic legitimate ones. Spoofers hijack a drone's communication link by emitting a counterfeit signal that the device reads as valid because it is a copy of the real signal.

The spoofer works by emitting a stronger counterfeit signal. The spoofer can cause a small delay between the drone and the controller; then, the spoofer emits the stronger false signal. The spoofer now has control over the device and can pilot the drone. The spoofer deceives the GPS receiver

GPS spoofing is hard to defend against if your UAS device is using GPS for flight. GPS is a signal broadcasted from satellites. You can't add standard protection tools such as encryption and certificates to GPS satellite signals.

According to NavControl-G engineer, the NavControl-G has already been successfully tested at maximum range, in December 2020 by an undisclosed customer in the desert with real drones and different possible threats. The system can be coupled to other UAVs jamming systems including radar, camera, and RF sensors. In the future, NavControl-G could have "hard kill" capabilities using a laser weapon to neutralize and render drones inoperable.


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