The researchers from UT built a system to protect against GPS spoofing. In order to prove that their protection system works, they had to demonstrate that GPS spoofing is feasible. Without exception, every news item on this only mentions the spoofing part, and not the protection part.
Military unmanned systems use encrypted GPS that is not vulnerable to the attack demonstrated.
Its possible to make a vehicle fly erratically, or even cause it to crash by spoofing GPS. But to take control requires a lot more than what was demonstrated. An error of 1us in the spoofed signal corresponds to 1000ft -- that's why the actual descriptions of the vehicle say 'banked hard' or 'veered' off course.
GPS jamming is so much easier than spoofing and results in the same thing.
Does it? Can't the drone tell that the GPS input that it's getting is inconsistent and fall back to flying home using dead reckoning?
Edit: the low-cost sensors can be augmented with sensors other than GPS too, like vision processing. This has been demonstrated but is not yet in widespread usage. I expect to see this become more common due to demonstrated vulnerabilities in GPS.
The unique value of inertial navigation is that it requires neither receiving nor sending a signal that can be jammed or spoofed, hence why the military uses it for everything.
Citation: Myself, I worked on a variety of systems including INS and GPS in the military.
LR gyros are also limited by physics to a certain limit of precision, and this is the specific mechanism by which they can drift (from what I understand though building larger gyros might help). So flying for a long time.... I don't know to what extent we know how much drift might occur. It would certainly be possible to build in some checks here though since landing in Iran instead of Afghanistan would seem to show some discrepancy between the two systems.
I am just not sure you can be sure that relative position will be as accurate as absolute position over an extended period of airtime.
I'm am pretty sure this is very wrong, although I'm not an expert enough to downvote you. Having multiple systems allows one to average out (statistically independent) drifts; it's not just a protection from failure. I don't think there's anything special about a "slow turn" which will cause military-quality INSs to have correlated drifts.
I think the real problem is that INSs are simply to bulky and heavy for drones, rather than anything to do with drift.
I heard some Russian ICBMs had a special window so that cameras can see constellations for that purpose.
Low-cost GPS jammers are $30-$50 dollars, though they are illegal to sell or to use. Jamming is a simple matter of sending out a signal more powerful than the signal received from the satellites. 100mW transmitter is more than adequate in close range.
If that drone is in a homogenous-looking area, say a desert with litte habitation, it wouldn't be hard to slowly get the drone to a different target than desired, possibly having it think another car or house is its target.