DARPA Technology Substitutes Cell, TV Signals for GPS

Leave it to the U.S. Military to come up with a bland phrase for everything. This week’s phrase is “signals of opportunity,” and it describes the TV or cell phone signals that a USG-funded initiative advocate using to replace GPS signals if such satellite navigation techniques becomes unavailable.

What wer’e talking about here, of course, is a battalion out on patrol in the wilds of Kandahar suddenly losing their GPS capabilities and having to rely on the surrounding technology. Rather than having to wait while the Afghan Net comes back online, the soldiers can triangulate phone or TV transmissions and convert those signals to location designators so that people and positions can be identified or found.

The goal is to eventually manufacture a receiver that can switch from GPS to cell signal and back again. The project is the product of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.


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