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Boeing Develops GPS Substitute

By | April 23, 2007

      In a new era where China has the capability to destroy space assets such as global positioning system (GPS) satellites, a system being developed would permit troops to find their precise position coordinates even if the GPS system for some reason failed.

      Boeing is leading a team to develop a GPS replacement system, under a contract that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA, recently awarded.

      The objective of the Robust Surface Navigation (RSN) program is to develop technologies that can exploit various “signals of opportunity” — electronic waves emanating from satellites, cell phone towers and even television transmission towers — to provide precise location and navigation information to ground troops.

      This system would provide personnel with location information, even when GPS signals are being electronically jammed or blocked by natural or man-made obstacles, such as foliage or buildings.

      Aside from demolishing one of its own aging weather satellites in orbit, China also “painted” a U.S. military satellite with a ground-based laser. Lasers can be used to blind satellites.

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