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Radio jamming is the deliberate jamming, blocking or interference with authorized wireless communications.[1]

In some cases jammers work by the transmission of radio signals that disrupt communications by decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio.[2]

The concept can be used in wireless data networks to disrupt information flow.[3] It is a common form of censorship in totalitarian countries, in order to prevent foreign radio stations in border areas from reaching the country.[2]

Jamming is usually distinguished from interference that can occur due to device malfunctions or other accidental circumstances. Devices that simply cause interference are regulated differently. Unintentional "jamming" occurs when an operator transmits on a busy frequency without first checking whether it is in use, or without being able to hear stations using the frequency. Another form of unintentional jamming occurs when equipment accidentally radiates a signal, such as a cable television plant that accidentally emits on an aircraft emergency frequency.

Distinction between "jamming" and "interference"

Originally the terms were used interchangeably but nowadays most radio users use the term "jamming" to describe the deliberate use of radio noise or signals in an attempt to disrupt communications (or prevent listening to broadcasts) whereas the term "interference" is used to describe unintentional forms of disruption (which are far more common). However, the distinction is still not universally applied. For inadvertent disruptions, see electromagnetic compatibility.

Method

Intentional communications jamming is usually aimed at radio signals to disrupt control of a battle. A transmitter, tuned to the same frequency as the opponents' receiving equipment and with the same type of modulation, can, with enough power, override any signal at the receiver. Digital wireless jamming for signals such as In some cases jammers work by the transmission of radio signals that disrupt communications by decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio.[2]

The concept can be used in wireless data networks to disrupt information flow.[3] It is a common form of censorship in totalitarian countries, in order to prevent foreign radio stations in border areas from reaching the country.[2]

Jamming is usually distinguished from interference that can occur due to device malfunctions or other accidental circumstances. Devices that simply cause interference are regulated differently. Unintentional "jamming" occurs when an operator transmits on a busy frequency without first checking whether it is in use, or without being able to hear stations using the frequency. Another form of unintentional jamming occurs when equipment accidentally radiates a signal, such as a cable television plant that accidentally emits on an aircraft emergency frequency.

Originally the terms were used interchangeably but nowadays most radio users use the term "jamming" to describe the deliberate use of radio noise or signals in an attempt to disrupt communications (or prevent listening to broadcasts) whereas the term "interference" is used to describe unintentional forms of disruption (which are far more common). However, the distinction is still not universally applied. For inadvertent disruptions, see electromagnetic compatibility.

Method

Intentional communications jamming is usually aimed at radio signals to disrupt control of a battle. A transmitter, tuned to the same frequency as the opponents' receiving equipment and with the same type of modulation, can, with enough power, override any signal at the receiver. Digital wireless jamming for signals such as Bluetooth and WiFi is possible with very low power.

The most common types of this form of signal jamming are random noise, random pulse, stepped tones, warbler, random keyed modulated CW, tone, rotary, pulse, spark, recorded sounds, gulls, and sweep-through. These can be divided into two groups: obvious and subtle.

Obvious jamming is easy to detect because it can be heard on the receiving equipment. It usually is some type of noise, such as stepped tones (bagpipes), random-keyed code, pulses, music (often distorted), erratically warbling tones, highly distorted speech, random noise (hiss), and recorded sounds. Various combinations of these methods may be used, often accompanied by regular morse identification signal to enable individual transmitters to be identified in order to assess their effectiveness. For example, China, which used jamming extensively and still does, plays a loop of traditional Chinese music while it is jamming channels (cf. Attempted jamming of numbers stations).

The purpose of this type of jamming is to block reception of transmitted signals and to cause a nuisance to the receiving operator. One early Soviet attempt at jamming Western broadcasters used the noise from the diesel generator that was powering the jamming transmitter.

Subtle jamming is jamming during which no sound is heard on the receiving equipment. The radio does not receive incoming signals; yet everything seems superficially normal to the operator. These are often technical attacks on modern equipment, such as "squelch capture". Thanks to the FM capture effect, frequency modulated broadcasts may be jammed, unnoticed, by a simple unmodulated carrier. The receiver locks on to the larger carrier signal, and hence will ignore the FM signal that carries the information.

Digital signals use complex modulation techniques, such as transmitter, tuned to the same frequency as the opponents' receiving equipment and with the same type of modulation, can, with enough power, override any signal at the receiver. Digital wireless jamming for signals such as Bluetooth and WiFi is possible with very low power.

The most common types of this form of signal jamming are random noise, random pulse, stepped tones, warbler, random keyed modulated CW, tone, rotary, pulse, spar

The most common types of this form of signal jamming are random noise, random pulse, stepped tones, warbler, random keyed modulated CW, tone, rotary, pulse, spark, recorded sounds, gulls, and sweep-through. These can be divided into two groups: obvious and subtle.

Obvious jamming is easy to detect because it can be heard on the receiving equipment. It usually is some type of noise, such as stepped tones (bagpipes), random-keyed code, pulses, music (often distorted), erratically warbling tones, highly distorted speech, random noise (hiss), and recorded sounds. Various combinations of these methods may be used, often accompanied by regular morse identification signal to enable individual transmitters to be identified in order to assess their effectiveness. For example, China, which used jamming extensively and still does, plays a loop of traditional Chinese music while it is jamming channels (cf. Attempted jamming of numbers stations).

The purpose of this type of jamming is to block reception of transmitted signals and to cause a nuisance to the receiving operator. One early Soviet attempt at jamming Western broadcasters used the noise from the diesel generator that was powering the jamming transmitter.

Subtle jamming is jamming during which no sound is heard on the receiving equipment. The radio does not receive incoming signals; yet everything seems superficially normal to the operator. These are often technical attacks on modern equipment, such as "squelch capture". Thanks to the FM capture effect, frequency modulated broadcasts may be jammed, unnoticed, by a simple unmodulated carrier. The receiver locks on to the larger carrier signal, and hence will ignore the FM signal that carries the information.

Digital signals use complex modulation techniques, such as QPSK. These signals are very robust in the presence of interfering signals. But the signal relies on hand shaking between the transmitter and receiver to identify and determine security settings and method of high-level transmission. If the jamming device sends initiation data packets, the receiver will begin its state machine to establish two-way data transmission. A jammer will loop back to the beginning instead of completing the handshake. This method jams the receiver in an infinite loop where it keeps trying to initiate a connection but never completes it, which effectively blocks all legitimate communication.

Bluetooth and other consumer radio protocols such as WiFi have built-in detectors, so that they transmit only when the channel is free. Simple continuous transmission on a given channel will continuously stop a transmitter transmitting, hence jamming the receiver from ever hearing from its intended transmitter. Other jammers work by analysing the packet headers and, depending on the source or destination, selectively transmitting over the end of the message, corrupting the packet.

During World War II, ground radio operators would attempt to mislead pilots by false instructions in their own language, in what was more precisely a spoofing attack than jamming. Radar jamming is also important to disrupt use of radar used to guide an enemy's missiles or aircraft. Modern secure communication techniques use such methods as spread spectrum modulation to resist the deleterious effects of jamming.

Jamming of foreign radio broadcast stations has often been used in wartime (and during periods of tense international relations) to prevent or deter citizens from listening to broadcasts from enemy countries. However, such jamming is usually of limited effectiveness because the affected stations usually change frequencies, put on additional frequencies and/or increase transmission power.

Jamming has also occasionally been used by the governments of Germany (during World War II),[5] Israel,[6] Cuba, Iraq, Iran (during the Iran-Iraq War), China, North and South Korea and several Latin American countries, as well as by Ireland against pirate radio stations such as Radio Nova. The United Kingdom government used two coordinated, sepa

Jamming of foreign radio broadcast stations has often been used in wartime (and during periods of tense international relations) to prevent or deter citizens from listening to broadcasts from enemy countries. However, such jamming is usually of limited effectiveness because the affected stations usually change frequencies, put on additional frequencies and/or increase transmission power.

Jamming has also occasionally been used by the governments of Germany (during World War II),[5] Israel,[6] Cuba, Iraq, Iran (during the Iran-Iraq War), China, North and South Korea and several Latin American countries, as well as by Ireland against pirate radio stations such as Radio Nova. The United Kingdom government used two coordinated, separately located transmitters to jam the offshore radio ship, Radio North Sea International off the coast of Britain in 1970.[7]

In occupied Europe the Nazis attempted to jam broadcasts to the continent from the BBC and other allied stations. Along with increasing transmitter power and adding extra frequencies, attempts were made to counteract the jamming by dropping leaflets over cities instructing listeners to construct a directional loop aerial that would enable them to hear the stations through the jamming. In the Netherlands such aerials were nicknamed "moffenzeef" (English: "kraut sieve").[8]

Cold War era