NAVSOP technology could replace GPS
New technology could signal the end for GPS location data
NAVSOP, developed by BAE Systems, has the technology to pinpoint locations to within two metres through the use of existing signals from radio, TV, mobile and Wi-Fi. NAVSOP (standing for Navigation via Signals of Opportunity) makes the location calculations via hundreds of different pre-existing signals, rather than from just one satellite signal used for GPS.
BAE Systems argue that NAVSOP is more reliable than GPS, which it says has a relatively weak satellite signal that is invariably vulnerable to disruption. The variety of signal receivers also means that NAVSOP is easier to detect than GPS, meaning areas with traditionally weak exposure to satellite signals, such as highly urbanised built-up areas and extremely remote locations, will have far greater connectivity.
James Baker, managing director of BAE Systems’ Advanced Technology Centre, said: “At a time when the need to be innovative and resourceful is more important than ever, this capability represents truly outside-the-box thinking by providing a cost effective system with a wide variety of different applications.
“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.”
BAE pointed to the implicit low-investment advantage of the NAVSOP technology using these signals when their infrastructure already exists. BAE Systems said the technology can simply be integrated into existing GPS positioning devices.
Dr Ramsey Faragher, a principal scientist from BAE’s Advanced Technology Centre, said the potential applications of NAVSOP were already generating interest in civilian and military circles.
As well as the more obvious connections for the armed forces, BAE Systems claimed the NAVSOP technology could be used by the emergency services for finding people after an accident or during a fire, as well as to provide more security for staff working on their own.
Commenting on when the NAVSOP technology would be commercially rolled out, a spokesman from BAE said it was always hard to say when a research project would become commercially available, but the company was already in discussion with a number of customers about rolling the technology out.