What is a CRPA and How Does It Work?

Man using GPS on the phoneMost industries today make use of GPS to run their business. Transport and logistics need it to manage their fleets. Maritime and aviation rely on it significantly to determine coordinates and directions. But using a GPS, or a global positioning system, means more than just navigation, knowing locations, and reaching destinations. The technical side of it is what helps you get those results. These systems have several components that are tested for speed, quality, and accuracy. There are space, ground, and user segments that each have their own components, all of which make up a complete GPS.

What is a CRPA?

A crucial part of a GPS is the controlled reception pattern antennas or the CRPAs. A CRPA simulator is used to test this component before the GPS is released for operation. Its antennas are larger than GPS antennas because it holds several elements that help it fulfill its purpose. These antennas can block any interference to ensure clear and accurate communication between all segments. It’s part of the anti-jam technology that was created to prevent adversaries of the Cold War from knowing about the GPS and rendering it useless.

How does it work?

A walkie-talkie is a radio receiver and transmitter in one. Its users communicate on a specific radio frequency. If there’s someone else on the same frequency who’s trying to interfere with the two original users, he’s called a jammer. On a GPS, the desired satellite signals are the original users. And the interference or the unwanted signals come from the jammer. The CRPAs of a GPS remove the unwanted signals and let the desired signals come through by using a spatial filter. Just one antenna can’t do this task. That’s why CRPAs use a range of antenna elements to create this so-called filter.


This technology has proven to be of great use for both civilian and military purposes. As technology unceasingly develops, industries can also expect all anti-jam technologies to develop along with it.