Techniques for spoofing detection and mitigation in Aeronautical receivers


  • Identification of the hazards that may arise from GNSS spoofing events for aeronautical receivers (receiver installed in an aircraft) throughout the different phases of the mission.
  • Definition of the minimum requirements for any GNSS spoofing detection and mitigation technique to considerably reduce the risks associated.
  • Exploration of different anti-spoofing solutions.
  • Demonstration of the feasibility and performance using a simulation platform.

Brief Description

The spoofing of GNSS is an evolving threat, that few years ago was limited to a very small number of groups able to produce a GNSS signal with sufficient quality, but nowadays can be performed virtually by anyone given the wide spreading of Software-Defined Radio (SDR). The availability of open source tools that requires limited effort and inexpensive hardware has contributed to spreading the GNSS spoofing outside the research community. Similar to what happens with GNSS jammer, the interference may easily disrupt the service in a wide area, affecting other receivers than just the intended one.
The possible approaches to countermeasure to the spoofing threat can be distinguished in mainly two classes: system or receiver side. Anti-spoofing operating at receiver level aims at detect, and possibly mitigate, the spoofing attacks implementing specifically designed algorithms without requiring modification to the space segment. These techniques usually consist in the verification of certain features of the signal, for instance the received power, signal polarization or distortions of the Auto-Correlation Function of the received signals.
The aeronautical environment has some peculiarities with respect to terrestrial applications. For instance, the multipath and visibility of the satellites is much more stable than in urban scenario. This may be an advantage for all those techniques that look at signal distortions or presence of secondary autocorrelation peaks. The performance of these methods usually is limited by the presence of multipath, as can be deemed as a spoofing signal and can cause high false alarm rate. In a cleaner environment therefore, the achievable performance might be significantly better. Furthermore, the plane dynamics, although noisier than those experienced by static receivers, is usually quite predictable and stable. This may be exploited for limiting the acceptable range of solutions, and therefore to impose constraints on the attacker.


Project Partners
  • OHB Digital Solutions GmbH / TCA (Lead)
  • IntegriCom Inc
  • Paris Lodron University of Salzburg

Acknowledgement: Sp-ATM was carried out under a programme of and funded by the European Space Agency. The view expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Space Agency.

  • ESA (European Space Agency) within TRP (Technology Research Programme)
  • Successfully completed in 2020