Despite advances in satellite technology, many of the U.S. military’s most expensive and necessary assets remain vulnerable to jamming from inexpensive tools, according to a new report from the CSIS Aerospace Security Project.
“The technology needed to jam many types of satellite signals is commercially available and relatively inexpensive,” the report reads. Other electronic threats such as spoofing, which attempts to trick receivers into believing manipulated data from an attacker is real, also offer low cost options to adversaries who hope to interfere with satellite connectivity. These kinds of attacks can disrupt communications or position, navigation and timing techniques.
The report, released April 12 and titled “Space Threat Assessment 2018,” notes that while United States near-peer adversaries have made strides in more advanced kinetic weapons, such as direct ascent anti-satellite weapons, jamming technology also is seen as critical. For example, “China has made the development and deployment of satellite jamming systems a high priority,” according to the authors, Todd Harrison, Kaitlyn Johnson and Thomas Roberts.