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Feature Robust enclosures

How to combat the threat of GPS Jamming

Intentional jamming of GPS equipment is increasingly being carried out by criminals. To help combat the threat, Chronos Technology has developed a new and highly accurate handheld jammer detector, with a robust Retex enclosure ensuring protection in the field

PS signals play an important part in our day to day lives – alongside satellite navigation and car tracking applications, GPS is used by time synchronisation equipment within many vital communications and information systems. However, intentional jamming of the GPS signal is increasingly being carried out by criminals, with crimes ranging in seriousness from stealing a high value car and lorry hijacking to corporate sabotage and even terrorism. Furthermore, the methods of jamming the signal are becoming smaller and harder to detect. To combat this threat Chronos, a specialist in the supply and inte- gration of GPS solutions and jammer detection equipment, has initiated SENTINEL, an internationally recognised research project to establish the extent to which the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) can be trusted by users 24/7 and how it can be better protected. Founded in 1986 by Professor Charles Curry, an expert in commu- nication and navigation systems, the company has become a leader in GPS interference detection and mitigation technology, manufac- turing a range of detection equipment including the CTL3520 GPS jamming detector and locator system, said to be the world’s most accurate handheld detector.


GPS signal jammers work by flooding the front end of the SatNav receiver or GPS tracker with too much power. As the native GPS signal is the equivalent of a 20W light bulb 12,000 miles away it is relatively easy to disable the technology from the ground. Despite the relative ease of jamming GPS signals, very few organisa- tions operate a protection programme, making their systems vulnerable to attack. Chronos’ jammer detection equipment can quickly pinpoint the source of the additional power, discriminating against false alarms from local multi-paths. This provides actionable intelligence to law enforcement agencies and critical infra- structure protection for organisations.

Selecting the right enclosure Unlike most detectors, which are only accurate to around 300m, the CTL3520 can pinpoint even weak signals to a specific car located within a crowded multi-story car park. This makes it easy to quickly find the location of a small, portable GPS signal jammer, making it the perfect tool for field operatives who are tracking criminal activity. The serious nature of this application meant Chronos needed an enclosure that would not only offer suitable installation space, but also robust protection.

The ergonomically designed series 33 enclosure

Enclosure & Panel Building Solutions WINTER/SPRING 2014 Ian Smith, product manager for Chronos, said: “We wanted the

CTL3520 to offer its operators simple functionality, accuracy and reliability in the field. Our technology was able to supply the first two, but we needed a suitable enclosure for the third. We tried several different options and quickly found that the Retex Series 33 met all

‘The CTL3520 can pinpoint even weak signals to a specific car located within a crowded multi-story car park. This makes it easy to quickly find the location of a small, portable GPS signal jammer, making it the perfect tool for field operatives who are tracking criminal activity’

of our needs. It is ergonomically designed to provide ample internal volume for installation while also being easy to carry in the operator’s hands. In addition, it is extremely tough and has rubberised corners which offer additional protection against accidental impact.” The Series 33 enclosure features curved edges and a functional snap-fit, screwless design which speeds up installation. Its recessed cover, base, front and rear panels offer design flexibility which, in the case of Chronos, allow for a control display and carry handles to be easily installed. Internal pillars are included for easy PCB assembly and a neoprene gasket joint is available to provide the enclosure with IP65 protection where necessary. Constructed from impact resistant moulded

ABS, the enclosures are available in sizes from 145 x 95 x 25mm to 200 x 120 x 40mm, and a choice of colour combinations. The range is available with bespoke machining, silk printing and EMI/RFI shielding.

Smith concluded: “The detection hardware is the result of our SENTINEL research project. It really is the industry leader in terms of handheld detection equipment and has already

had a lot of interest from law enforcement agencies around the world, as well as private security firms and large businesses. With this kind of client base we make sure that we only use the best components as unreliability really isn’t an option. The Retex enclosure fits with our needs perfectly and will play its part in the prevention of serious crime.”

Retex T: 01933 234400 Enter 261 5

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