GPS Down: Lost is Space. Time. And Money
Developed by the military, GPS is everywhere. We depend on it for military, civilian and commercial tracking of cargo ships, cars, trains, orbiting satellites of all stripes, and items easily geo-tagged with a trackable chip.
A moving lattice of 31 GPS satellites orbit the earth at about 12.000 miles such that at any one time, something like Google Maps can read your position by 6 or more satellites to triangulate your position, speed and direction of travel. Unless…
What was vastly complex, expensive and rare–jamming or spoofing GPS signals–today is simple, cheap and common. And increasingly dangerous to a world become dependent on precise knowledge of the location of things.
Fooling GPS is now so simple one authority stated that “The snotty kid in the bedroom is now probably our worst nightmare.” The story is told of a priest who used a jammer in his church because he was tired of cell phone use during his sermon–a trivial use.
However, a single single jammer can disrupt GPS accuracy for up to 5 miles. Fleet tracking, cargo shipments, and air traffic control are increasingly at risk of disruption.
This NBC article at the lnk below Â is a sobering reminder of the fragile house of cards we live in. We’d have sufficient challenges if everyone worked for the common good. Everybody doesn’t.
And coincidentally this morning, DELTA is down, system-wide. No mention has been made so far to explain why their global computer network is stranding passengers around the globe. But my speculationÂ is that they’ve been hacked. Maybe a proof-of-concept for bigger fish down the road?
It’s a shame that all people who are up to no goodÂ are not also stupid.