Is it possible to beat drone jammers?

Hi everyone,

I just made a bet with some local professional jammer manufacturer who is too confident with their product. 
I'll take them out if I can manage a flyaround over their premises.

Their product is no joke though. As far as I could understand, it scans the entire spectrum and jams the suspectable frequencies but obviously there's something more to it which they won't tell me.

I've thought of below ideas for flight over a jammer-proteced zone. I'll be obliged if you could share your ideas:

1-) Using a 27 or 40Mhz AM/FM remote (the jammer may detect this but won't hurt to give it a try) 
2-) Cable remote (there are 4gr/m cables)
3-) Infrared controller (can be modified for long range)
4-) Computer vision?
5-) Trying u-blox M8 3D Dead Reckoning GNSS chips (no idea how they perform or if manageable with arducopter) 
6-) Autonomous flight without GPS and radio control (e.g. command Arducopter to take off, climb to 100m (barometer) fly north for 10 sec at 15m/sec (air speed sensor + compass), fly west for 5 sec. etc. I'm not sure if this is possible for arducopter.

Thanks in advance for your input.

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Comment by Jordan McBain on October 9, 2017 at 7:57am

CDMA radio technology (spread spectrum) hides a signal across the spectrum and should be immune to simple band jamming.  It is used in cell phones and stealth radar. You probably won't build this yourself but I suspect you can find something off the shelf.

Depending on the power their hammers out out, you might need to protect you electronics with some faraway shieldind... Which is to say put it in a metal box.

Dead reckoning might be good enough for jazz.

Comment by eUGENE on October 9, 2017 at 9:15am

Hi Jordan,

Jammers already works on 4G LTE networks, LTE uses spread spectrum :)

what does "Dead reckoning might be good enough for jazz" mean? jazz?

Comment by Jordan McBain on October 9, 2017 at 10:27am

The comment about jazz was a reference to tuning Instruments for playing jazz music... Doesn't need to be perfect.

I didnt know you could jam lte. If I were in your shoes i would investigate how that is possible; there may be something different about cell phone technology that makes it more susceptible as I think in principle spread spectrum is the way to go(or at least the place to start at).


Comment by iTech on October 9, 2017 at 10:29am

Hi Alp,

I believe the best way to avoid their jammer is using optical flow ( AP/PX4 already have a support), Just create some auto mission and let it fly, In the meantime, you could act like controlling the plane/Copter :-)

PS: I have seen some top faced low angle GPS receivers for avoiding jamming from the ground. 


Good luck!

Comment by eUGENE on October 9, 2017 at 11:21am

Hi Aytek,

We couldnt talk for a long time :)

Unfortutely optical flow working range in too low :(

Ordinary jammer block 2.4-2.5GHz WiFi 11.g, b, Bluetooth, 1570-1620MHz GPS L1 + GLONASS L1  , 5.7GHz-5.9GHz WiFi 11.a, 900MHz  860-930MHz, 433/434MHz no way for radio controling  with these strandart frequencies

Comment by Subatomic on October 9, 2017 at 12:08pm

I have been thinking of this problem for awhile. And the only solution I can think of is having a completely autonomous drone that does not rely on outside signals. GPS is easy to jam and in fact, you could easily direct a drone anywhere just based on GPS spoofing. All signals can be jammed, and that is even easier these days with the advent of SDRs. Best option is programming a drone with AI and computer vision. A simple approach may be to use infrared beacons on the opposite side of the target to fly towards at a set altitude maintained using  barometer/lidar. Here's something I've been playing with and it works well...

Comment by Subatomic on October 9, 2017 at 12:15pm

Also, of course you would use the compass and airspeed sensors to help maintain a direct path as already suggested. It wouldn't be very accurate, but with an IR beacon on the other side, the drone could constantly adjust to maintain it's path.

Comment by Eli Cohen on October 9, 2017 at 12:16pm

do they also jam sound? wondering if you could place a few really loud sirens around their property at known coordinates and use those for positioning. each one could be at different freq and a bit of simple math (intensity + frequency shifts) might get you position + velocity. 

Comment by DG on October 9, 2017 at 12:43pm

I thought using satellite map navigation has been used for quite some time already, at least by the military.

Comment by turdsurfer on October 9, 2017 at 6:29pm

The weak link in 'drones' is the GPS receiver. If the jammer decides to jam that, then he'll jam it for every other GPS receiver in the vicinity (unless of course he's using a directional antenna pointed at the 'drone').

However, if there is a workaround, then it will be in inertial tracking where the flight computer makes estimates of it's flight path & speed based on previously learned information during the last time the GPS was working. The flight computer can make estimates for wind speed, and it's own airspeed based on various pitch angles. All this info put together should make a rough RTH possible without GPS imho.
A working compass will be required unless it's also possible to use the gyro if it doesn't drift too much, but from what I've heard, gyro drift is a show-stopper.


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