We reported last week on a new kind of GPS device created by BAE Systems, called NAVSOP. The device relies upon signals from all around, such as Wi-Fi, cellular, or radio signals, to determine one’s GPS location, rather than just the GPS satellites. It can even learn how to use a signal that was previously unidentified. This is big news, especially for the military, who are often in remote locations, sometimes hiding out underground or in caves. Traditional GPS technology just doesn’t work out in these situations.
The military relies on GPS technology more than anyone it seems, whether it’s used in their drones, troops, missiles, or ships. The information it gathers is crucial for their missions, such as locating enemy targets and striking these targets accurately. The NAVSOP device (Navigation via Signals of Opportunity) will assure their signals can’t be jammed by the enemy. Furthermore, the if the enemy decides to use a GPS jammer, the NAVSOP can actually use the jammer’s signal to triangulate location. Take that, enemy.
“This technology is a real game-changer when it comes to navigation, which builds upon the rich heritage that both BAE Systems and the UK have in radio engineering,” according to the managing director at BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre, James Baker.
Not only does this device allow anti-jamming and spoofing capabilities (using bogus signals to take over the military’s robots or drones), but it allows for underground or indoor use. Typically, the GPS devices we use today do not work under these conditions. The cover of Earth does not allow GPS signal to reach these places. NAVSOP will also function in remote ares of the world, like the Arctic or the Amazon.
Of course, the NAVSOP device will be useful in many more situations than military operations. Any vehicle that relies on GPS navigation, even airplanes, could benefit from this jam-proof device. However, the military stands to gain much from this device, one more step towards protecting themselves and their high-tech equipment from enemy attack, or hack.