Alternatives to GPS are starting to generate interest

Alternatives to GPS are starting to generate interest

In a short time, GPS has become the backbone of consumer technology and the critical infrastructure for navigation and timing applications. What makes us think twice about the potential vulnerabilities of this network of 31 satellites, and the consequences of a catastrophic malfunction or a major attack on this infrastructure.

“GPS / GNSS / PNT jamming, identity theft and other forms of interference are increasing in frequency and severity. Space-based systems are also not immune to severe space weather or cyberattacks, ”explains Jeff Shepard of Microcontroller Tips.

And to point out the criticality of an infrastructure that has become vital for many activities. The loss of five-day satellite navigation would cost the UK more than £ 5.1 billion, according to a report by the London School of Economics. And according to the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, a GPS failure would cost the US economy $ 1 billion per day and up to $ 1.5 billion per day if it occurred during peak season. seedlings in agriculture.

Alternatives exist

However, there are alternatives to GPS at different stages of development. The US Air Force, which uses GPS, has launched GPS III satellites which offer significantly greater resistance to jamming attacks. Europeans are also looking to supplement their satellite navigation network with 5G technologies.

Among these avenues under study, the one developed by NextNav is worth the detour. The system developed by this company is thus based on a temporal redundancy of its TerraPoiNT system. This redundancy is very useful in a number of scenarios, in particular the cases of breakdowns, spoofing and jamming of the GPS, which are risks of more and more frequent and of more and more concern for the system GPS. “GPS is critical infrastructure, but it has its limits,” notes Ganesh Pattabiraman, co-founder and CEO of NextNav.

“With US authorities, we have validated that TerraPoiNT can serve as an important backup to GPS and ensure the resilience and continuity of our nation’s most critical systems, including next-generation telecommunications networks, financial services and electrical networks ”, argues the latter.

Through a terrestrial network of dedicated transmitters, NextNav provides essential positioning, navigation and synchronization services where GPS cannot: indoors and in urban areas. Ground-based transmitters deployed around a service area triangulate a device’s location, much like a network of GPS satellites. However, unlike national space systems, the proximity of NextNav transmitters increases signal strength 100,000 times compared to GPS, allowing for fast and accurate calculations that work well in urban environments, where GPS can be capricious or nonexistent.

Source: ZDNet.com

In a short time, GPS has become the backbone of consumer technology and the critical infrastructure for navigation and timing applications. What makes us think twice about the potential vulnerabilities of this network of 31 satellites, and the consequences of a catastrophic malfunction or a major attack on this infrastructure. “GPS / GNSS / PNT…

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