When satellite navigation was cut off at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel last year, only the skills of air traffic controllers prevented serious accidents. The turmoil is clearly a coincidence, originating from Russian troops fighting in Syria. However, it does show how dangerous the disruption of the Global Positioning System, well known as GPS, is.
Todd Humphreys, a communications engineer at the University of Texas at Austin, said: "There is a growing awareness that GPS needs to be protected, enhanced and extended. GPS is now underpinning an amazing part of our daily lives. In its simplest form, GPS receivers are always on earth. We have them in our cell phones and cars. They allow boats to move through difficult waterways and coral reefs like modern lighthouses. Emergency services Currently, I am looking for someone who is in trouble using GPS.
Less obvious, the port will not work because the crane needs GPS to find the right container to move. Ports also play an important role in logistics so that automakers and supermarkets can use just-in-time delivery systems. Without them, our supermarket shelves would be empty and prices would be high.
The construction industry uses GPS for surveying, and fishermen use GPS to comply with strict regulations. However, GPS is not only location-specific, it is also time.
The constellations of 30 satellites in orbit around the earth use some highly accurate atomic clocks to synchronize their signals. With these, users can pinpoint time within one hundred billionth of a second. All cellular networks use GPS time to synchronize base stations, but financial institutions and banks use GPS time to ensure that transactions and transfers are correct.
Without satellite navigation, we would really get lost. But is there anything that can replace it? And what to do without this ubiquitous system?
The London School of Economics estimates that a five-day loss of satellite navigation will cost more than £ 5.1 billion (US $ 6.5 billion) in the UK alone. GPS system failures also cost the U.S. economy an estimated $ 1 billion (£ 760 million) per day and up to $ 1.5 billion (£ 1.1 billion) per day during the farmer's planting season. Become. April and May.
But gps blockers are surprisingly common. The military regularly blocks GPS failures in certain areas during equipment testing and military exercises. The US government also regularly conducts tests and exercises that result in interference with satellite signals, but some technical issues are also causing global problems.
Of course, there are other global navigation satellite systems as well. Glonass in Russia, Galileo in Europe, and BeiDou in China all work like GPS. Increasingly, interference or intentional interference can also lead to signal interruptions from satellite positioning systems.
Charlie Curry, a Fellow at the Royal Institute of Navigation and founder of Kronos Technology working in the field, said:
The military has good reasons to be particularly concerned. Originally developed by the Pentagon, satellite navigation now carries everything from strategic drones and warships to individual intelligent bombs and infantry. And it is in danger.
Criminals also use GPS jamming devices, which can be easily purchased online, to track systems that track stolen vehicles without worrying about who else is affected in the area. And there is a greater danger.