drones prone to GPS spoofing

Researchers in Austin Radionavigation Lab successfully showed that an unmanned drone with an unencrypted GPS system can be hijacked with GPS spoofing device.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wanted to see if anyone had the capability to pull this off and invited scientists to show their skills. What the scientists did was to matched-GPS-signal-structure of the transmission and interfere in an attempt to control the receiver. This spoofer can transmit its counterfeit signals from a stand-off distance of several hundred meters or it can be co-located with its victim.

The UT researchers took equipment costing about $1000 to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico last week and showed observers from both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and DHS how control of a test drone could be taken away from its original overseers.

Considering that hundreds of drones will be flying in the USA within the next decade, the ability to easily spoof them is a bit disconcerting. Of course since similar technology can be used on other vehicles that deploy unencrypted GPS navigation such as planes, ships, etc..

3G + GPS shield for Arduino

This is a new 3G shield for Arduino that gets you WCDMA and HSPA connectivity. Just like most smartphones these days the module also includes an internal GPS receiver which uses A-GPS and S-GPS modes for a fast time to first fix.

As Arduino enthusiasts already know the there are no limits to what you can build and this GPS + 3G shield takes that to a whole new level with super fast connectivity.

One of the features of this Arduino shield is that it can also work thanks to its A-GPS and S-GPS modes which means the location from GPS through NMEA sentences is completed with the cell information provided by both the 3G module and external Internet Geoposition Servers.

Here are some of the other features:

  • WCDMA and HSPA 3G networks
  • Internal GPS for Assisted A-GPS and Supported S-GPS modes
  • Video Camera (640×480)
  • Audio Kit including microphone, speaker, hands free and headphones available
  • SD file system up to 32GB
  • Works as a standard 3G modem
  • Send and receive mails by POP3/SMTP
  • Play compressed audio files

This will cost you €149 here.

find home machine uses GPS and LEDs to guide you home

This is a “Find Home Detector” as labeled by the developer and it is designed to show the way home by indicating direction with a light. Components include LilyPad board, a GPS receiver, compass and some LEDs. Simply it uses the GPS to get a position fix and figure out the direction to your house. The compass then comes into play to figure out your heading so it can light up the correct LED towards your home.

We have talked about other Arduino powered GPS projects here at Navigadget and this is definitely a nice addition to that list.

Garmin ecoRoute hd

Garmin just introduced ecoRoute hd, which uses your car’s onboard diagnostics port (OBD II) to transforms your compatible Garmin nüvi into a real-time diagnostics computer. The main goal here of course let you save more money by helping you keep tabs on your mileage, gas consumption, etc. Of course when combined with the eco Routes features you’re also getting a ‘low emissions’ route that is best for the environment.

By accessing onboard diagnostics and performance data through ecoRoute hd, drivers can use a compatible Garmin nüvi to wirelessly monitor real-time vehicle diagnostics for most vehicles while accurately calculating ecoRoute data and driver challenge scores (speed, acceleration, braking, etc.). By simply plugging the ecoRoute hd module into the vehicle’s standardized onboard diagnostics port (OBD II), safely mounting the transmitter clear of vehicle controls and pedals, and completing the easy one-time pairing with nüvi, drivers can start receiving the vital data from their vehicle and run diagnostic checks through nüvi’s intuitive interface before a trip to the auto shop is necessary.

ecoRoute hd will be compatible with many current and future nüvi models, including 1260, 1370, 1390, 1490 and 1690.

You can get the EcoRouteHD for $150 starting in March. It does more than just trying to save you some gas money. It lets you monitor

  • Intake air temperature information
  • Coolant temperature data
  • Throttle position and engine load
  • Intake manifold pressure
  • Battery and charging system information
  • Mass airflow rate
  • Timing advance
  • Emissions

hack OnStar GPS

You’ve got OnStar enabled GM vehicle and don’t use it? How about we told you that you could hack into to GM’s controller area network - which they call GMLAN - and make use of the GPS data?

Yeah we know - a simple USB GPS receiver is cheap and is easy to use; but who wants to do that when you can pull your car apart and access what’s already yours? See this as a way you sticking it to the man!

checksum = checksum ^ nmea[k];
} //end for

If any part of this makes any sense to you follow this link to hackaday and get started!

real time kinematic GPS receiver

Real time kinematic GPS receivers are the ones used by pros to do land survey jobs which can provide down to 1 centimetre accuracy. Now you don’t have to spend a fortune on one of these since you can build your own thanks to researchers at Tokyo University.

All you need is a cheap beagle board, the instructions here and lots of free time and patience…

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Palm Pre tweets GPS coordinates

Do you want your Palm Pre to tweet its location on a regular basis? Now you can. But you’ll have to do some “hacking” as one might call it. Before anything you’ll have to setup SSH and dynamic DNS on your Pre. Does that mean anything to you? OK, here is a simple test. If the next line scares you, maybe you should not mess with your Palm Pre:

< ?php $gps = `luna-send -n 1 palm://com.palm.location/getCurrentPosition {} 2>&1 | cut -d, -f4,5 | sed -r ’s/[^-\.0-9,]//g’`;

What? You can write shorter regular expression that does the same thing? Well… here are the rest of the instructions.

hack your Nokia N95 for better GPS reception

Do you have problems with your GPS reception on your Nokia N95? How about some soldering skills? If you’re brave enough you can open your N95 and remove the default GPS antenna and instead stick in an 8″ speaker wire in there and wrap all over your N95 before closing it back up. You should follows the instructions and read comments here though.

The poster of this hack claims you can get a satellite lock in 5 - 10 seconds - even indoors. However doesn’t share if this is after a cold - or a warm - or a hot start.

Give it a shot - why don’t you?

iPod Nano GPS hack

We haven’t been talking about any decent “hacks” lately. Well we just found one thanks to hack-a-day. Even though the hacker claims this is not all that complicated we advise you take his words with a grain of salt. After all the guy did end up writing a “graphics driver” to display the latitude and longitude on iPod’s screen.

Combining a reference design board containing a Nemerix GPS with an Atmel ATMEGA324 micro-controller (and of course assorted supporting components), I had the hardware tools to spit-out data to the iPod. However the iPod will not accept just any serial data stream. The data has to be formatted to display on the iPod screen, which made this project a challenge and appealing to me.

For all the details please check out this site.

AarLogic C10/3: Linux OS breadboard with GPS

Let’s take a break from all those ready to use, nicely finished GPS navigation systems and tracking devices and have a look at this tiny Linux machine with an embedded GPS receiver. It is called AarLogic C10/3 and with this, the possibilities are endless!!! (provided you have at least a BSE from an accredited university and the time and energy to actually build something out of this).

You can make your own sat nav device, vehicle tracking system, or even a satellite guided missile!

The breadboard includes a Quad-band GPRS module SiRF Star III GPS receiver, USB, RS232 and ethernet interface. It comes with 4 Mb NV memory standard but can be expanded a lot since you there’s also an SD-card reader.

The heart of the PC is two ARM processors, responsible on one hand for the GSM component, and on the other for applications executable under Embedded Linux. The processor module, including the GSM component, is also available for purchase separately. Despite its small surface area - roughly the size of a matchbox – its 160-pin socket provides a wide array of connectivity options. Aside from keyboards, digital cameras and reading devices, this also includes WLAN, Bluetooth and GPS components.

You’ll be pleased to hear that there is a free test server available visualisation of the geo-data.

It measures 104mm x 63mm (4″ by 2.5″) and costs €192.00. …

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