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The Fundamentals of CRPA You Should Know

Bird view of city with GPS symbols

The Controlled Reception Pattern Antenna (CRPA) is an antenna that specifically protects the Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers from jamming and interference. You may have heard some common terms that describe it, like adaptive antennas, beaming antennas or null-steering antennas. 

You may also want to see or try a CRPA simulation – provided by firms such as CAST Navigation – to understand its value entirely. To help you understand it better, here are some of the fundamentals of CRPA.

The Roots

It all started in the Cold War years, where jamming the radar of the opponent is a normal strategy. Then, later on, the United States developed the GPS system where the Navigation System with Timing and Ranging, or NAVSTAR, activated their first ever satellite in 1978.

And by 1993, the GPS system has become fully operational.  However, a high-power interference can still affect it.  Then, the CRPA was born.

The Start

You now know that the anti-jamming technology of GPS started during the Cold War, where developers cleverly ensure their radar will still operate despite obstruction.  Can you imagine how they did it? With the correct combination of output from multiple antennas, you can cancel or render jamming futile. They then adopted this technique for GPS through CRPA.

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The Theory

When you think about the theory of CRPA integrated to GPS, it sounds complicated. On the contrary, it is very simple, because you do not need to do any modifications with your GPS receiver; all you need to do is replace the existing antennas.

CRPA antennas are larger since it contains multiple elements and other electronic components to do the job.

The Future

You have already witnessed the innovations of CRPA used for anti-jamming and anti-spoofing, but you have yet to see the CRPA’s future. You can expect more with this technology.

There are many other things that you should know and understand about CRPA. You may not be technologically inclined in terms of GPS, but learning the fundamentals of CRPA could be of great help for you in the future.

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