Feeds

BAE proposes GPS-less location

Beat the jammers and spoofs

The next step in data security

Whether or not Iran used GPS spoofing to down a US drone last year, there’s no doubt that GPS spoofing is both real and easier than the military would like. Now, BAE Systems is proposing a positioning technology that works without GPS.

The defence company says its NAVSOP system – Navigation via Signals of Oppurtunity – allows devices to calculate position based on the mass of signals that already surround us.

This, the company says, makes NAVSOP resistant both to GPS jamming, and to spoofing attacks of the kind recently demonstrated by Todd Humphreys (University of Texas, Austin, press release here). In that attack, Humphreys demonstrated a drone takeover using about $1,000 of kit.

By using available signals – from mobile phone towers, fixed broadcast locations like TV and radio, air traffic control radars, and where location data is available, WiFi routers – BAE Systems claims its proposed system isn’t subject to the problems that face GPS navigation.

As NewScientist explains, the company says the heavy regulation applied to signals like broadcasts, radio and radar means both their frequency and the signal strength at the transmitter are known.

That makes them suitable for location calculation by triangulation – and the variety of regulated transmitters means that each signal source can be used to correct errors in others. For example, while mobile base station locations are regulated, it’s not unknown for carriers to move a rooftop base station by a few meters without updating the public record.

By taking advantage of lower-frequency signals that penetrate the mass of concrete of a city location – something that causes problems for GPS – BAE says it can also provide a location fix where GPS units lose sight of their satellites.

BAE notes that the public infrastructure required already exists – so NAVSOP can be rolled out without an expensive build. BAE’s announcement is here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.