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Researchers eavesdropped on SpaceX Starlink satellites signals for GPS

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Researchers eavesdropped on SpaceX Starlink satellites signals for GPS

Using signals broadcasted by SpaceX’s Starlink satellites, researchers have developed a technique to find a place on Earth, just like GPS.

Researchers eavesdropped on SpaceX Starlink satellites signals for GPS 01 | TweakTown.com

With signals from six satellites, the researchers pinpointed a location inside 8 meters of accuracy right here on Earth. The researchers didn’t require any help from SpaceX, nor did they’ve any entry to the info any satellites have been transmitting, solely info referring to the placement and trajectory of the satellites. The analysis workforce was primarily based out of the University of California-Irvine (UCI) in partnership with the Center for Automated Vehicles Research with Multimodal Assured Navigation (CARMEN), a multi-institution transportation heart housed at The Ohio State University.

“We eavesdropped on the sign, after which we designed subtle algorithms to pinpoint our location, and we confirmed that it really works with nice accuracy, and although Starlink wasn’t designed for navigation functions, we confirmed that it was potential to be taught components of the system properly sufficient to make use of it for navigation,” mentioned Zak Kassas, affiliate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UCI and director of CARMEN.

The workforce arrange an antenna on campus at UCI, utilizing the algorithm they developed to pinpoint its location. They might find the antenna inside ~7.7 meters, in comparison with GPS’ accuracy of between 0.3 and 5 meters typically. Previously, utilizing different satellites, the workforce has been capable of pinpoint places inside ~23 meters. Working with the United States Air Force, they may find high-altitude plane inside 5 meters utilizing land-based mobile signals.

The discovery of this methodology has left the researchers hopeful that it might function a viable different to GPS in some unspecified time in the future. Kassas says that because the Starlink constellation grows, the accuracy of those strategies can even improve.

GPS signals rely on satellites in a lot larger orbits than low-Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites like Starlinks. Consequently, LEO satellites have stronger signals which might be much less vulnerable to interference and doubtlessly much less weak to assaults because of the novelty of this methodology in comparison with the well-understood programs powering GPS.

“The necessary catch right here is that we’re not ‘listening’ in on what’s being despatched over these satellites. We discovered the signals simply properly sufficient to harness them for navigation functions,” Kassas mentioned.

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