Skip to comments.The Air Force May Ditch GPS for Earth's Magnetic Field... We're long overdue for a new way to navigate.
Posted on 08/07/2020 7:46:40 AM PDT by Red Badger
The Air Force, wary of losing its GPS satellites during a major war, is exploring alternatives.
One alternative is using a magnetic field map of Earth.
Maps of Earths magnetic field are very accurate, but we don't know how data is gained about possible enemy territory.
The U.S. Air Force, concerned that adversaries might target its fleet of GPS satellites in wartime, is looking into Earths magnetic field as an alternative, according to Defense One.Accurate and extremely difficult to jam, the magnetic field could be used as a means of navigation for ground troops, ships at sea, and aircraft. The magnetic field could also guide missiles to their targets with an accuracy of just over 30 feet.
The worldwide Global Positioning System (GPS), created in the late 1980s, has evolved to become an essential part of life for nearly every person on the planet. The 24 satellites that make up the GPS constellation freely provide positioning, timing, and navigational information worldwideespecially for the U.S. military. GPS allows units in the air, on land, and at sea to know their position at all times; quickly agree on a common, synchronized time; and navigate across unfamiliar terrain with relative ease.
The GPS constellation visualized. QAI Publishing
he Pentagons reliance on GPS has made its disruption or destruction the number one priority by adversaries in wartime. Anti-satellite weapons, GPS jammers, and even GPS spoofers are designed to destroy, deny, or degrade the network, forcing U.S. and allied forces to rely on older, less accurate ways of determining their finding their way around.
Russia, China, and North Korea have all developed and deployed GPS countermeasures, some of which have interfered with civilian GPS usage. In 2019, pilots discovered Russian GPS jamming (to protect Moscows forces in Syria) interfering with civilian air traffic in the Eastern Mediterranean, from Cyprus to Israel.
The U.S. military has rolled out a number of alternatives to GPS, including navigating ships by sextant. One idea that seemingly holds a lot of promise: magnetic anomaly navigation techniques, or MAGNAV.
The magnetic field protecting Earth from solar winds is all encompassing, but varies by location. These variances, recorded by a magnetometer, can be correlated to a map of the planet. The result is a magnetic map of Earth that doesnt require satellites or even a physical map.
The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and other weapons use GPS to achieve unparalleled accuracy. These weapons are capable of traveling for miles and landing within 10 feet of their targets.
Looks like the Project HAARP conspiracy theories will be making a comeback.
A mag field that is changing?
The magnetic field could also guide missiles to their targets with an accuracy of just over 30 feet.
Seems rather lame.
A compass, perhaps?
As long as you can accurately compensate for the change then OK.... Jamming it would be a challenge !
Next they will issue spyglasses and sextants to all B-2 bomber pilots. :)
not drawn to scale
Navigator domes on the planes?
Next they will issue spyglasses and sextants to all B-2 bomber pilots. :)It hasn't been all that long that they took sextants out of the B-52.
It’s better than that, because compasses only measure direction in 2D, while a magnetometer can measure direction in 3D, and also measures strength, and a gradiometer can also measure the gradient of the strength (how does strength change with position).
Waze is the best thing since sliced bread.
All with a smart phone have it for free and it is amazingly simple to use. If your trip is cross country or cross town, Waze is the ticket
A replacement is not required at present
This is nothing new, I heard about ICBMs using this for navigation, back in the eighties.
Before my day in the Air Force, and way before GPS, B-52 bombers and ICBM missiles were equipped with Startrackers that could lock onto and track a star, even in daytime. The obvious problem, however, is cloud cover...
I was wondering what former Senator Begich’s brother has been doing since HAARP shut down. Selling timeshares or reverse mortgages I reckon.
I’m skeptical. Like hitting a moving target. Except that precision has to be high. Order of magnitude?
GPS has its issues too.
Hey, how about the star constellation? Computers could compute location by triangulation. Star Trek uses the star constellation. Of course you need a clear view of the sky. Then again maybe not. What reflected wavelengths penetrate the upper atmosphere? Not visible to the human eye. Maybe a pulsar?
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