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WhatsApp message on Lok Sabha election dates fake: ECI || Haryana INLD leader Rathee shot dead || Indian reporter dies in apartment fire in New York || Trump wins South Carolina primary || Air Mauritius aircraft snag: 200 passengers suffocated for 5 hrs || UP constable exam cancelled after paper leak || Bank robber caught by woman cop in Jaipur || 15 killed in UP tractor trolley mishap || Death for Haryana wrestling coach in murder case || - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
'GPS spoofing' threatens flights over airspace in war-torn West Asia

The electronic spoofing signals not only lead to misreading of location but also faking of other vital parameters like distances and altitude etc by confusing the computer system with unpredictable consequences. Because all cockpit equipments are integrated.

Tailpiece: Could this have been the cause of some recent crashes in the Indian subcontinent! Spoofing altitude reading while flying over valleys and hills? (ALSO see: What caused Ethiopian air crash)

NEW DELHI, Nov 26: The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has warned that civilian flights over war-torn West Asia can be risky with recent reports of 'GPS spoofing' disrupting navigation. The DGCA has issued an advisory to all Indian airlines to be alert.

"The aviation industry is grappling with uncertainties due to new threats and reports of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) jamming and spoofing," the DGCA circular said.

The latest incident was reported near Ankara, Turkey, on November 20. The navigation system showed that the aircraft was in Beirut. Since nobody has been found manipulating the GPS it is likely due to the military electronic warfare systems active in West Asia. In case one strays into Iran airspace it runs the risk of getting shot down.

The problem is like a driver blindfolded! With modern aircraft totally depenedant on electronic instrumentation, if signals are faulty we don't know where we are flying. This ‘GPS spoofing’ is threatening flights across West Asia, a perennial war zone. And the region has the busiest air traffic between East and the West like the Suez canal for shipping.

In the last few weeks, there were about 50 incidents being reported from near Baghdad, Cairo and Tel Aviv. One aircraft was about to stray into Iranian air space.

In conflict zones aircraft risk terrorist attacks by spoofing.

The electronic spoofing signals not only led to misreading of location but also other vital parameters leading to unpredictable consequences. Because all cockpit equipments are integrated. Could this have been the cause of some recent crashes in the Indian subcontinent! Spoofing altitude reading while flying over valleys and hills?

Recent incidents of ‘GPS spoofing’

Misleading electronic signals imitating the GPS signals led to total failure of navigation for 12 flights near Iran in September, according to data. “A troubling new development in en route airspace is emerging: Aircraft are being targeted with fake GPS signals, quickly leading to complete loss of navigational capability,” according to OpsGroup.

According to another report, GPS spoofing misguided around 20 planes near Iran-Iraq border. The planes included Boeing 777, 737 and 747. The aircraft’s navigation system went awry, the planes losing their navigational capability. The manipulation was called ‘GPS spoofing.’ It means a satellite signal is replaced by a malicious intervention possibly from ground by third party such that the GPS receiver shows a wrong position and time leading to disasters. On the other hand, in 'jamming', GPS signals are jammed, which is not as threatening as spoofing and happens once in a while.

Airway UM688 in Iraqi airspace was found to be particularly risky.

Iranian Defence Ministry had disclosed a couple of years ago that Iran has an electronic warfare system that is exclusive. It also has electronic warfare aircraft.

In one incident, a pilot asked an air controller while flying near Iraq, “What time is it, and where are we?” In these cases, the aircraft were shown off course by certain distances.

Even the latest inertial reference systems (IRS) has been found to be vulnerable to spoofing.

The IRS can circumvent signal errors with available last correct information but it reads a 'spoof position' as true.

What is GPS: GPS or Global Positioning System is a satellite-based utility providing positioning and navigational services. It comprises of a series of satellites. Simply put it guides a road journey to its destination like in cabs to locating oneself in ocean while shipping or air while flying where nothing is seen by the naked eye. It provides time and location information anywhere on earth to a corresponding GPS receiver. According to NASA, GPS is a space-based radio-navigation system, owned by the US Government and operated by the United States Air Force (USAF). It can pinpoint a three-dimensional position to metre-level accuracy and time to the 10-nanosecond level, worldwide and 24/7. It reads like 20° N, 50° W means the location is 20 degrees north of the Equator and 50 degrees west of the Prime Meridian. With a GPS receiver, users can determine their precise latitude, longitude and altitude. The location of objects like vehicles, people, phones, bikes, etc. can be tracked in real time.


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The killing of a teacher in France by an Islamic radical last Friday is linked to the Israel-Hamas war in West Asia, say authorities.

Shocking news from the UK: Leading grocers have started bribing policemen with free food and drinks to persuade them to take action against shoplifters.

Shoplifting has risen by about 27 per cent in 10 major cities across the UK this year. The cost of retail crime last year was $2.15 billion. Besides, “We are seeing organised gangs threatening staff with weapons and emptying stores," Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said. Data shows that the police failed to respond to 73 per cent of serious retail crimes that included assault and abuse of workers, apart from shoplifting.

Isar Mohammad allegedly picked up a banana offered to Ganesh idol on Chaturthi at a makeshift temple in Delhi and consumed it.

Harris said hip-hop is “the ultimate American art form” that “shapes every aspect of American popular culture.” “Hip-hop culture is American culture,” she said in a talk at her official residence at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

The social media had mixed reaction. There was much appreciation that she dances better than any VP in American history. But some called her "moves" as “cringe” while others did not like her pink pants - "pink pants don’t look good.” In fact, her ensembles have always been incongruous.

"Let’s see how the (Governor's) Vice-Chancellors are given salary." Mamata's extreme statements will put the Marxist Government in Kerala, which is also facing similar issues, to shame. Has she begun the countdown for a war on the streets?

It's true Mamata has come to see a conspiracy to demolish the established systems across the country, but lacks the ability to foresee what exactly is being pushed.

Brandishing a sword, Mahant Paramhans told reporters on Tuesday he himself will behead MK Stalin's son for his remarks against Sanatan Dharma in case nobody came forward to accept his offer he made in his video. Udhayanidhi reacted to the saint's Monday video, "I will speak more. I am the grandson of the artist who put his head on the rail track for Tamil Nadu."

Somanath elaborated, "I am an explorer. I explore the Moon. I explore the inner space. So it's a part of the journey of my life to explore both science and spirituality. So I visit many temples and I read many scriptures. So try to find the meaning of our existence and our journey in this cosmos. So it's a part of the culture that we are all built to explore, find out the inner self as well as outer self. So for the outer, I do science, for the inner I come to temples." (See videos)

Rao the mathematical legend had fathered the path-breaking Rao-Blackwell theorem, one of the most important theorems in mathematical statistics, at the age of 25. That brought him global fame. He is also famous for his Cramér-Rao Bound inequality theorem relating to quality of estimators in statistics which has had a profound bearing on applications of modern economics and several other diverse fields. Simply put, with the pioneering statistician computation became a tool to analyse even socio-economic challenges of modern times.

The ISRO said on Thursday evening that after rolling out from Vikram lander to the Moon's surface in the previous night, Pragyan's rover mobility operation commenced during the day on Thursday. The exploration has started.

Chairman Somanath said everything is working very well.

The rover will mainly study the mineral composition of the moon, the ions and water ice***, its atmosphere and any seismic activities.

Chandrayaan-3 had successfully landed on the Moon's south pole on Wednesday at 6:03 pm as per schedule, making India the first country ever to touch down on the polar surface.

The alleged incident has received such a flash publicity that a standardised city's hugely middle class population will have second thoughts about eating outside for some time. Now everything on the table looks suspicious!

“All subjects directly connected to the people should be shifted to the State List. Particularly the subject of education. Only if this is done can cruel exams like NEET be abolished,” Stalin said. Education was moved from the State List to the Concurrent List with the 42nd Constitution Amendment made by the Central Government in 1976.

Decentralisation has been at the core of Tamil politics since the times of CN Annadurai. Stalin indicated there will be political changes in the offing.

TAILPIECE: While the Centre and the States are at loggerheads, it takes a different cognitive acumen to know that entrance tests are not the way for students' admission to courses.

A University of Florida Professor, Harrison Hove who was on the flight, posted on social media that the incident was "terrifying." He said, "I've flown a lot. This was scary ... The photos cannot capture the burning smell, loud bang or ear pops ... Something failed midflight and depressurized the cabin."

As recently as Tuesday Craig Robertson had posted on Facebook: "Perhaps Utah will become famous this week as the place a sniper took out Biden the Marxist." Biden was scheduled to make his first visit to Utah as President Wednesday afternoon.

  • Let's Go! The legal immigrants should be allowed the flexibility to change jobs and travel without obstacles. Doing away with the country cap on Green Cards only can do this easily.
  • Bureaucratic delays in the US legal immigration system are also a drag on the country's economy while leaving so many families in limbo, the Congressmen argued.
  • In fact, the country cap was introduced to ensure diversity of immigrants as well as to prevent monopoly by any one country like China leading to distortions in the American culture and politics in course of time.
  • In any which case, it is high time the US straightened its convoluted immigration laws for their own convenience and to allow the immigrants their basic rights!

Maruti is recalling 87,599 S-Presso and Eeco vehicles to inspect and possibly replace parts in the steering system. All reputed companies around the world do recall their products when a defect comes to light.

Meanwhile, a question arises why just in about a year so many accidents have taken place involving Mercedes sent to India while the car has won safety awards abroad? In most cases, the vehicle collided with divider, while manoeuvring a turn. Was there a split second delay in the steering system coming to a grip when at high speed? Did anybody in India bother to study a pattern in several of these accidents that took place one after other?

Former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry died when his Mercedes-Benz-SUV hit a divider in Gujarat. Cricketer Rishabh Pant's Mercedes-Benz-SUV rammed a divider in Uttarakhand and smashed. It went up in flames but he escaped with injuries. Brother of PM Narendra Modi, Prahlad Modi's Mercedes-Benz-SUV met with a similar accident in Mysuru. And many more.

  • Experts blame violation of the Visual Flying Rules (VFR) for most of the chopper crashes in the mountains as the leading cause. VFR means fly only visually - because of the lack of navigation aids in remote areas or unreliability of GPS-like aids in hilly terrains or a remote manipulation of instruments in cases of sabotage - as the topography plays havoc especially in the monsoon (mid-June to September).
  • Even when VFR is followed, most crashes occur due to CFIT (Controlled Flight into Terrain) - that is, everything else is OK but the aircraft collides with hills or trees hidden by the clouds. This also occurs mostly in the monsoon.
  • On Tueday with Manang, the chopper was brand new, pilot was highly experienced. But it hit an 'invisible' tree and then crashed against a hillside. This CFIT occurred when the pilot tried to dodge patches of clouds even as he was following the VFR.
  • Simply put, everyone knows flying in the hills during the monsoon is risky, but the companies want to make more money in any which case. This type of tragedy is very frequently invited in the Indian hill State of Uttarakhand as well, where pilots are even made to fly without the mandatory rest.

The new offer will enable H-1B speciality occupation visa holders in the US to apply for a Canadian work permit, while also offering study and work permit opportunities for their family members accompanying them.

The selected applicants will be granted an unrestricted work permit for a maximum period of three years. The IRCC will entertain 10,000 applications. The window is open for one year.

  • Curfew was clamped on areas in Paris on Thursday lasting till Monday. The police apprehend an escalation of volence in the coming days. There will be "actions targeted at the forces of order and the symbols of the State", they said.
  • Under present law, the police have brute powers to deal with traffic violators. Young Nahel was shot point-blank by a cop for purported traffic violation and an anticipated crime.

Way back when on June 20 EST after searches were launched, India Travel Times had, on an analysis of the data available, indicated the probability of Titan undergoing a sudden and massive implosion (inward collapse) at great depths. (SEE: Titanic expedition goes missing: A ray of hope from sounds of bang) Now videos taken by a Canadian robot that reached the floor on Thursday evening, June 22, has confirmed it. The fragments are lying scattered. Horizon Arctic's ROV robot found the debris 1600 ft from Titanic bow.

The submersible imploded at 500 metres above sea bed, if we go by our calculations. The water pressure it had to withstand at that point was 2,345 kg per sq inch. The hull was not built to take that, as per the court cases fought by concerned people at the time of building the sub and going by the details revealed in the cancellation of booking by at least one ocean expert.

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