Satnavs and other devices relying on GPS technology may go haywire this weekend, scientists have warned. Motorists, sailors and pilots using GPS technology could all be affected on Saturday at 1am GMT - with the risk greatest with older models of satnav. But GPS is also used in many other applications, including the electricity grid, which could also be hit, experts warned. Satnavs and other devices relying on GPS technology may go haywire this weekend, scientists have warned. The warning has been issued by the National Physical Laboratory in the UK as well as satnav makers TomTom and Garmin.
The US military is looking to expedite the deployment of'jam resistant' GPS units in an effort to guard against interference from Russian troops. According to Breaking Defense, a first-generation model of the device will be sent to soldiers in Germany by the end of the year. It's specially designed to be resistant to GPS jamming, or technology that attempts to disable GPS by transmitting fake signals or scrambling them. The US Military is looking to mitigate GPS jamming, as it presents security risks. While the actual technical details of the devices remain a mystery, the new GPS will look to combat what is suspected to be coordinated jamming by Russian military, which has been documented by the US in countries ranging from Syria to Scandinavia.
A US military training exercise could leave many pilots flying over the Southeast and Caribbean without a GPS. The Navy's'Carrier Strike Group 4' exercise is expected to jam signals and other navigation systems starting January 16th and run until January 24th. Planes flying from as low as 50 feet above the ground up to about 40,000 feet are at risk, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security explains that the Federal Government'is required to conduct GPS tests, training activities, and exercises that involve interfering with GPS receivers.' Part of the Navy, the'Carrier Strike Group 4' is expected to jam signals and other navigation systems until January 24th.
The US military has built and tested a range of ultra-lightweight gliders made of plywood. They are designed to be released from a conventional aircraft at 25,000ft and can be used to drop as much as 1,800 pounds of cargo to US troops. California-based Logistic Gliders says it would be able to move goods up to 70 miles away. GPS allows the gliders to navigate autonomously and their wings fold out and in automatically. It drops to the ground via a parachute and a reinforced honeycomb cardboard nose prevents damage on landing.
The inventor of GPS has lamented that people are unable to read maps because they are now'too dependent' on using their smartphones or sat-nav devices. Bradford Parkinson, the pioneer inventor of the navigation system relied upon by billions of people, said that he'worries' about what impact its failure could have. Professor Parkinson received the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering in London last night for his key role in developing the Global Positioning System or GPS, along with the rest of his team: Professor James Spilker, Jr, Hugo Fruehauf, and Richard Schwartz. They originally began working on the system in the 1970s as a military project but were unaware of the revolutionary impact it would have on wider society. GPS signal is made by a network of around 30 spacecraft in orbit that transmit positional information and precise timing to receivers around the globe.