Modern Civilization Will Be Lost Without GPS

Today, All Public And Private Transportation Depends On Gps, And The Temporary Interruption Of This Technology, Even In Short Periods Of Time, Can Cause Irreparable Damage.

Planes, cars, trucks, trains, and ships depend on GPS for location data, and GPS scheduling signals are important for telecommunications and financial transactions.

According to a 2019 report released with the support of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the loss of GPS costs the US government $ 1 billion a day. If the technology is disrupted or disrupted during the farmer planting season (April to May), It costs $ 1.5 billion a day.

According to Alan O’Connor, Senior Economist and Head of Innovation Economics at RTI, a non-profit international research institute, who presented the 2019 report:

Positioning, navigation, and scheduling signals are important to the many stakeholders and different applications involved in these signals.

GPS and its GNSS counterparts (global navigation satellite systems including European Galileo, Russia’s GLONASS, and China’s Beidou) play a vital role in economic activity. India’s NavIC system and Japan’s QZSS are also important in their regions.

GPS is the oldest and most extensive positioning, navigation, and scheduling (PNT) system. Many infrastructure networks depend on GPS receivers, and multiple satellite constellations contribute to GNSS connectivity and accuracy.

Because receivers receive signals from any available GNSS satellite, they should theoretically maintain service continuity in GPS loss. Still, since the receivers are primarily dependent on GPS, it is unclear what they would do if they lost it. According to Dana Guard, head of the nonprofit Foundation Scheduling and Responding:

GPS is essential in our daily lives. If it is cut off for a long time, I am sure it will even cost people their lives.


GPS introduced the constellation in 1993 to provide global PNT data. Russia, China, and Europe also followed suit. The European Commission and the European Space Agency will complete the constellation Galileo by 2022.

GNSS disruptions take less than a day, But there may be longer interruptions. Galileo suffered a six-hour system failure on December 14, 2020, and was suspended for one week in July 2019. GLONASS crashed in 2014. During this time, GLONASS satellites transmitted inaccurate information for 11 hours.

Disconnection of GNSS satellites is common, and systems are often disrupted and forged. In 2016, after the obsolescence of old satellites, GPS-based scheduling equipment disrupting.

Only a 13-millisecond difference affected emergency communications equipment and police in parts of North America, causing power outages.

One of the reasons GNSS errors are so important is the timing element. GNSS satellites depend on atomic clocks for signal synchronization, allowing users to achieve scheduling accuracy in nanoseconds; As a result, banks rely on GPS to report the exact timing of financial transactions, and telecommunications towers use it to synchronize network nodes. According to Ian Annette, Deputy Director of the British Space Agency:

Britain is heavily dependent on GNSS. These receivers are an integral part of Britain’s security and success beyond global borders and contexts.

The Importance of GPS for the United States

All of the above applies to the United States. If GPS is turned off, it will not be possible to predict the exact sequence of events. According to Guard:

Shipping and first responders are immediately affected by GPS interruption. There may also be an accident. Mobile phones and the Internet are weakening; But it is difficult to say to what extent and how fast this reduction in quality occurs.

Covid 19’s globalization has made the United States more dependent on telecommunications infrastructure than ever before. According to O’Connor:

Infrastructure plays an important role in our economy; But many people are unaware of the connection between GPS, stable positioning, navigation and scheduling signals, and everyday applications and tools.

The economic impact of breakdowns

A 2017 joint study by Innovate UK, the British Space Agency, and the Institute for Navigation and Control shows that a five-day GNSS disruption can damage roads, submarines, and emergency services by up to ٫ 5.2 billion ($ 7.2 billion), accounting for 88% Constitutes costs. Guard says the cost of the damage has increased dramatically in 2021 due to the pervasiveness of situational data.

The European Space Agency has released an updated study to measure potential economic impact. The last decade has seen an increase in the value of GNSS with the advent of smartphones and devices and the rise of Internet penetration. According to Annette:

Satellite navigation systems are also important for decoding future technologies such as self-driving cars, smart cities and artificial intelligence. These systems can change the way people live, work and travel.

The British Space Agency is looking for innovative options for British space PNT capabilities.

How likely is a complete GNSS shutdown?

The failure of all GNSS constellations together is unlikely. According to Miguel Amu, Head of Marketing, Positioning, and Automation at Hexagon (Stockholm-based IT company):

Higher risk includes attacking GNSS systems from jammers and spoofers. Anti-counterfeiting and anti-tamper technologies are available; But in general, national security agencies are their buyers, not business users.

Regional breakdowns are more common. Geopolitical tensions lead to the loss of GPS signals near the Middle East. In July 2018, the NATO Shipyard received reports of ships having GPS disruption while crossing the Mediterranean.

NATO reported similar problems in December 2019; When Mediterranean ships and planes could not access GPS or GLONASS signals.

The U.S. Department of Transportation report to Congress identified technologies that could complement or support GPS service in JANUARY. According to the report, there is currently no alternative to GPS navigation and positioning capabilities; For this reason, the transportation sector advises infrastructure owners and operators to adapt to a variety of PNT technologies.

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