GPS may now reside in everything from our cars to our smart phones, but it once all began as a military application. So it's perhaps ironic, if not entirely shocking, that the head of the U.S. Air Force said today that the military needs to wean itself off dependence on a GPS network vulnerable to jamming and satellite-killing vehicles. DOD Buzz reports that officials have confirmed that GPS has been "jammed or interfered with recently."
Jamming of GPS signals could present a very serious problem for U.S. military hardware, said General Norton Schwartz, Air Force Chief of Staff, during a conference sponsored by Tuft University's Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis. For instance, all those smart bombs and cruise missiles depend upon the GPS constellation of satellites for much of their accuracy.
DOD Buzz pointed out that alternatives to GPS include accurate digital maps, if not the good old ink and paper versions. Or a different system could use cell phone tower networks, similar to Apple's iPhone.
Military concerns aside, at least civvies can still look forward to their future of stylish, GPS-enabled clothing inspired by Star Trek.
[via DOD Buzz]
What about perfecting the old tried and true method? Inertial guidance?
Yeah, GPS is dandy, but only when the enemy isn't jamming it or hasn't shot one of them out of orbit with a missile. You can't interfere with inertial guidance like you can with GPS.
Instead of one really good solution, how about utilizing all those ideas into one package. Inertial guidance, cellphone triangulation, digital map reading, etc, etc, etc...
Make backup systems with backup systems...that's my $ .02 anyways.
That's how it works now, from fighter jets to submarines. A fighter uses accurate inertial sensors, magnetometers to measure magnetic north inclination, and GPS. They work in that level of importance, and each system supports the other, but isn't dependent on each other to keep the aircraft flying.
That's how it works for fighters, yeah...but we're not talking about fighters, are we?
Some of those so-called "smart" bombs only have GPS systems attached with controller fins. I know it'll cost $$ to upgrade those weapons with INS and such. How about datalink between bomb and aircraft for location reference so it knows its whereabouts from the deploying aircraft which uses INS/GPS/digital maps, etc. That way, even if satellites are jammed/destroyed, the aircraft still knows its location and can tell the bomb where it is and where its going.
@rpenri: What happens when the aircraft's link to the payload is severed? Wouldn't it then become a dumb bomb?
@rpenri: Well if you are talking about a radio transmission, then that can be not only jammed, it can be tracked back to the aircraft and blow it's stealthiness. If it's transmitting by laser communications, then why not just skip the extra kit and the issues of breaking comm through visual interference, and use a laser guided bomb. I don't know of any other method that can't be at least just as easily jammed or detected.
The LORAN system is pretty much an Earth based GPS system that is very difficult to jam because of the extremely long wavelength of the signals. Basically, you need a transmitter to jam as big as the wavelength is long and that is big enough for LORAN to be easily spotted and targeted.
I saw this coming. It's a no brainer that the world's most powerful military could recieve an easy blow just by shooting down some of our satellites.
I actually called the whitehouse hotline months ago and told them that they ought to be looking into independence on gps.
There is a technology older than gps, more accurate(for a time) and can never be jammed. Inertial Navigation System were developed for guidance systems on early rockets, the technology was so effective that it is still used today. It uses a system of accelerometers and gyroscopes changes are recorded by a computer and direction volatility and position are all computed. They are present in the space shuttle many airplane, submarines, and many rockets. The persision drastically with the quality of components used as dose the cost. Over time compound error will build up and they need to be reset with good data periodically.
Maybe they can update the missiles to use other GPS systems as a backup. The Russians are deploying one, and I think that Europe is as well.
China is also reputed to have a system, but the little that I read about it said that it required initiation from a ground signal.
Loran-C was the predecessor to GPS and was maintained as a backup to GPS. Now it has been announced that the U.S. maintained stations will be decommissioned beginning this year. It seems that it might be wise to keep them going until a better alternative is available. Incidentally, some navigation sensors use a blended solution of GPS and inertial references.
The good old Loran-C from WWII, is it not? I totally forgot about that... yeah, that would be a good solution, lets face it. On the other hand I don't know if that would be nearly precise enough for such demanding applications as missile firing...
Visit Budapeste: www.hungriabonita.com/budapeste
Why not place several anchor antennas all over the globe to serve as points of reference for a digital map of the earth. If there are several antennas combined with one on the moon, the map could be used with the usual longitude and latiitude measurements and since no nation on earth would know where all the antennas are located, it would be very hard to hamper such a system. Some radio antennas could double as an exact pinpoint to overlay the map on a screen.
I actually love ssttaaaarrss sugestion I think thoug that jamming is not that har4d is it?
<a href="http://hubpages.com/hub/Hot-Dog-Eating-Contest-2010">Hot Dog Eating Contest 2010</a
I think the US was a bit careless on this technolagy shouldn'have unveiled it, now need to replace it, bu sth through the internet whould be more difficult to hijack.