Navy testing (for a secret project) may cause GPS outages out west

The military is up to something and it may cause GPS disruptions in the American west, according to a notice from the Federal Aviation Administration. It's not clear what exactly is going on, but the FAA's advisory specifies the epicenter of the possible disruptions being China Lake, California, which is home to the U.S. Navy's Naval Air Weapons Station. The disruptions start today and will run throughout the remainder of the month.

The advisory, which was first spotted by Gizmodo, says there is "GPS testing" scheduled for today, June 9, June 21, June 23, June 28, and June 30. They will take place during a timespan from 9:30AM to 3:30PM PST, and "may result in unreliable or unavailable GPS signal." The FAA's advisory is said to apply to "all aircraft relying on GPS."

Judging by the FAA's advisory, it appears that GPS disruptions on the ground won't be happening, or at least not in any significant way. The map above shows the areas that will potentially be affected and at what altitudes. The range is huge, stretching all the way up into Oregon and over into Colorado. In some places, the GPS block could reach 40,000ft above sea level.

Speaking to Gizmodo, the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division provided scarce details, with a public affairs specialist simply saying that "it's general testing for our ranges." Some speculate the military will be testing jamming technologies to disrupt GPS signals, and that the skyward nature of the testing could mean that it involves drones.