Monday, May 19, 2014

British military developing GPS navigation that works without satellites

HMS Astute

Did you know that GPS doesn't work underwater? Neither did we. But apparently it's a big enough problem that the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense is working on a futuristic solution that will allow more precise navigation by the Royal Navy's submarines and surface ships, while eventually trickling down to consumer-grade mobile devices. That all sounds great, but its abilities aren't anywhere near as cool as its name - the quantum compass.

Using subatomic particles that interact with the Earth's magnetic field (which is a phrase I never though I'd write while working at Autoblog), the accuracy of submersible navigation could be drastically improved. When a boat surfaces, pinpointing its exact location can be off by as much as half a mile. With a quantum compass, its location would be accurate to just three feet.

Not only is the quantum compass highly accurate, but it's also virtually impossible to tamper with, unlike the overworked system of GPS satellites. Because quantum mechanics. Not surprisingly, the applications for the civilian world could be immense. Cars and phones would be able to deliver pinpoint-accurate navigation information in a form that is totally constant. Hop over to GPSDaily for the details.
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