US defense works on reliable decentralized navigation




Darpa, the organization of the US Army, is working on localization that does not rely on external sources. In areas where GPS is not available, army units would still be able to navigate, it is thought.

According to Darpa – that was responsible for GPS, but also for the investigation that led to the Internet – GPS has been a success, but its dependence also a vulnerability. In some areas, the reception of GPS-signals are disrupted or simply not be possible. For those situations Darpa is working on new ways of positioning.

These new ways “radically different” than existing localization says Darpa. As the new localization to lean itself calibrating gyroscopes, accelerometers and other devices measuring with high precision where a person is, without depending on external signals. Also, the new localization can use wireless signals in the area, such as television, radio signals, mobile phone masts, the location of satellites and possibly even lightning.

In that way the army units should be able to navigate to places where no GPS signal is available. Incidentally mobile phone masts have long been used to determine a rough location. The new technology could be used in particular in the army; the question is whether Darpa plans to roll out the technology ever to consumers, such as GPS or has happened.


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