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746th Test Squadron develops high power jammer system for continuous tracking

  • Published
  • By Deidre Moon
  • AEDC Public Affairs

With the goal of improving the ability to test increasingly robust GPS systems for aerial assets, the 746th Test Squadron at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, developed a high power jammer tracking system, or HPJ-T, to provide constant GPS jamming on a system for an extended period of time.

The 746 TS is part of the 704th Test Group, a unit of the Arnold Engineering Development Complex.

According to Paul Benshoof, chief of Capability Development Flight with the 746 TS, there is typically a specific area within the jamming field where high power jamming is available.

“Often, we can only collect usable test data when the system under test (SUT) is in the area of the jamming field, so if the SUT is moving in and out of the desired area, a lot of collected data is incomplete and valuable test time is wasted,” Benshoof said. “This issue is even larger for fast-moving aircraft that can spend as little as a few seconds inside the preferred jamming area before flying out of it.

“Since the HPJ-T is dynamic and can track a desired asset, it is possible to have the SUT in a constant jamming environment, efficiently using test time and affording the opportunity to collect more usable data.”  

The HPJ-T is a dynamic jamming system that utilizes an Advanced Tracking System (ATS) and a Jammer Operator Interface (JOI). The ATS can provide positioning, navigation, and timing data to the JOI, where an operator then selects a desired target for the HPJ-T to track. This capability allows the HPJ-T to provide constant GPS jamming on an airborne target throughout its visible flight path.

The HPJ-T had four successful flight and ground tests between August 2018 and September 2020, where it was used to both track and jam C-12J Huron and T-38 Talon aircraft.

“It ultimately met all design requirements and has since been declared fully operational to support customer testing in threat-representative GPS-denied environments,” Benshoof said.

Designed to be transportable, the 746 TS personnel can operate the HPJ-T on any range where GPS vulnerability testing can be conducted, such as White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico; the Nevada Test and Training Range; the Utah Test and Training Range; Edwards Air Force Base, California; and other test sites. Customers can schedule HPJ-T use by contacting the 746 TS.