Signal Jamming: Different Techniques and Where They Are Used

Signal Jamming: Different Techniques and Where They Are Used

The way we communicate has changed a lot over the years. From handwritten letters and e-mails to smoke signals and text messages, the way we exchange messages has grown so much with the help of technology.

Probably one of the most revolutionary inventions in the field of communications is the discovery of wireless signal transmission. As expected, this development came with a pair - in this case, the science of signal jamming. To explain it simply, signal jamming occurs when the frequency of a device collides with another signal of the same frequency but at a higher power. In this case, the receiving device will not be able to process the signals correctly and stop working properly.

Signal Jamming: A Brief History
The act of signal jamming was widely used during World War II and the Cold War. In addition to using it to prevent messages from reaching their country of origin, the jamming of broadcast stations also spread at the time. During the Cold War period, Soviet and Western broadcasters even fought in a "race for power" in which jammers worked to increase their transmission powers.

The situation began to change with the end of the Cold War. As the Soviet Union crumbled, Western forces gained traction and control over innovation and technology in general. However, without the need for "signal battles", signal jamming has also been classified as an illegal act in many countries, except for government, military and defense applications.

Types of interference
Disturbing signals can be caused by mechanical or electrical interference. We discuss their main differences below:

Mechanical jamming
A more old-school type of jamming, this technique involves the use of devices like decoys, reflectors, and chaff to reflect and reflect signals back to its source to create false returns. These devices are highly visible – for example, corner reflectors are often attached to decoys (or moving objects designed to confuse a radar operator) to make them look like real aircraft. Flakes, on the other hand, are aluminum glass fibers of varying lengths. All of these, while effective, aren't exactly subtle, which defeats the need for more incognito signal jamming in certain situations.

Electrical jamming
A strategy in which jammers send spurious, highly concentrated signals to the radar or receiver through noise or repeater techniques. Acoustic interference is divided into three types, namely spot, sweep and barrage.

Spot jamming is a type of concentrated power that is used to attack a particular channel or frequency. It's usually hard to track because it's difficult to detect which particular frequency is affected in a pinpoint jamming attack, but the slight downside is that this tactic is limited to only jamming one frequency.

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Sweep jamming, on the other hand, is a type of attack in which an attack is changed to different frequencies, similar to a sweeping motion. It fixes one of the weaknesses of pinpoint jamming as it can attack multiple frequencies in succession. However, it should still be noted that there is still a slight gap between these attacks as they are not done at the same time.

Finally, jamming barrage involves jamming multiple channels at the same time in a single attack. The good thing about this is that multiple frequencies can be blocked simultaneously. However, because this type of approach uses too many resources and power to do so, the jamming effect can also be limited. A new type of barrage jamming is base jamming where speed cameras are jammed at their source instead.

Applications of signal jamming in modern times
Signal jamming, at present, is a very valuable technique for some institutions. Here are some examples where they can be used: Blocking cell phone use in schools or prisons Signal jamming devices are very commonly used in environments where cell phone use is not permitted. A school is one place where they are commonly used as they help eliminate the distraction that smartphones pose to education. A cell phone blocker from The Signal Jammer is a good option, and can also be used for personal (as long as it's legal) and organizational purposes. Prison is another example where it is not uncommon for inmates to successfully smuggle a smartphone despite restrictions. Signal jamming is used in this situation as a security measure, as it blocks any possibility of communication between inside the prison and the outside world.

Bomb control and VIP
Transport It is also not uncommon for signal jammers to be used in situations such as transport and VIP transfer. Rather than blocking the transfer of communication signals, however, specific signal jamming devices are also used to render a certain radius of area safe from the detonation of bombs, especially improvised explosive devices. These types of signal jammers work by neutralizing signals that may otherwise set off explosives.

Privacy Goals
GPS jammers are types of signal jamming devices that work by blocking possible GPS surveillance on devices or vehicles. They can also be paired with a GPS tracker detector which can be used to spot insects planted on a person or their vehicle.

Personal uses
Cell phone signal jammers are a type of jamming device that blocks signals received by smartphones. It can help protect individuals from pesky calls and usually only works in limited spaces. There are even portable models of such devices which are specifically designed to be lightweight so that a person can easily take them with them when on the go. Before buying cell phone jammers, however, it is important to check the laws first, as their personal use has been labeled illegal by most countries.

wifi jammer
WiFi jammer used for WiFi are typically used by businesses and organizations that need extra protection against data theft. Many companies choose to have it to prevent information leaks that can lead to costly data loss.

Signal jamming may have a shaky start in history, but the method proves useful for modern situations as well. Since its personal use is generally not allowed by most governments, it is useful to know that it can also be used for other useful purposes.

Want to know more about the what, how and why of signal jamming? Discover more of our articles.