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In 2008, at a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics training exercise outside Yuma, Arizona, a GPS guidance unit was accidentally spoofed, with a near-disastrous result. The unit was attached to a Containerized Delivery System, a pallet with stuff to resupply ground troops—food, ammunition, water—that had been released from a C-130 transport, and was tracking a GPS signal so it would arrive at a certain point on the ground. In the exercise with the C-130 were a number of airplanes and helicopters, many of them using electronic jamming equipment or testing electronic warfare systems. In the signal-rich environment, the CDS, instead of landing at its programmed landing point, was heading straight for the Chevy Suburban that was waiting to return the pallet to base. Seeing the CDS headed for him, the Suburban driver stepped on it, but he wasn’t fast enough; the cargo crashed into the back of the van. The driver was uninjured.
He explained that to fly low over a location of interest, an aircraft would most likely be put into a shallow descent, with its engine throttled back, so that it would essentially glide over the target. After one pass, “it will turn and gently increase power, but in a geometry such that nobody at or near the target could hear.” Once back at a higher altitude, the Sentinel would, if necessary, set up for another pass. This description suggests that maintaining continuous observation of a location would require two, possibly three, Sentinels flying overlapping patterns, not a sole craft orbiting.