There exist a number of different techniques [PDF] to mitigate (or at least detect) GPS spoofing, but the most effective techniques require access to the military-only M-code [PDF]. However, there was a new frequency band added to GPS called L5, which is intended to be used in safety-critical applications such as aviation, but it appears to be geared towards resisting unintentional interference, not spoofing. It can be used to enhance detection, but I'm not aware of whether or not this is done in practice.

Do any modern non-military general aviation GPS systems attempt to mitigate or detect spoofing?

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    $\begingroup$ Background: I work in information security and am looking into the feasibility of using aviation-certified GPSes as an auxiliary trusted time source to mitigate time spoofing attacks on computers. $\endgroup$
    – forest
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 23:32
  • $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? Do airlines use GPS for critical purposes? If so, why? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 1:33
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    $\begingroup$ @HiddenWindshield My question is not whether GPSes are used_for critical purposes, but whether they specifically have anti-spoofing mitigations. That question discusses GPS jamming, which is unrelated. $\endgroup$
    – forest
    Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 1:35
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    $\begingroup$ Not totally convinced that this is on-topic, but absolutely certain that it is not a dupe as suggested. VTLO for now. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 4:10
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    $\begingroup$ Looks like you have a good answer below, and if nobody is going to try to close it as off-topic, I won't either. I could see that as going either way, so keeping it open is fine with me. It's most certainly not a duplicate of the other, which is why I posted the comment. Closing it for that reason would absolutely be a mistake. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 23:48

1 Answer 1


From a 2018 RTCA report[1], modern (not all) aviation GPS units – those certified to TSO-C145/TSO-C146 – are required to recover within 5 minutes and not output misleading information, but that's with respect to interference, not spoofing. For spoofing:

Efforts are underway, including in RTCA's SC-159, Navigation Equipment Using the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), to review and mitigate these [spoofing] events.

From said SC-159, the L1/L5 initial MOPS (Minimum Operational Performance Standards) review is estimated for 2023, with verification and validation slated for 2025 (rtca.org, 2020).

And, from a Q1 2020 survey[2] on intentional interference—not the same as spoofing, but:

  • since 2017 ICAO and RTCA are pushing to adopt interference countermeasures, where DFMC (Dual-Frequency Multi-Constellation) is "seen as strongly beneficial"

  • receivers and antennas could need improvements

  • the risk from spoofing has been "seen as relatively unlikely so far"; however, research is ongoing.

The slow-pace of certification is also mentioned:

Although moving at sensibly slower pace for reasons of regulation, safety and certification, the GNSS receivers segment for civil aviation is evolving in the same direction of DFMC.

  1. RTCA Paper No. 077-18. Attachment 5 – Recommendations on Intentional GPS Interference. pp. 8 and 25 (PDF pp. 79 and 96) (PDF; rtca.org)

  2. Morales-Ferre, Ruben, et al. "A survey on coping with intentional interference in satellite navigation for manned and unmanned aircraft." IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials 22.1 (2019): 249-291. p. 282 (PDF; ieee.org)


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