GPS face-off: Why countries are vying to rule the skies with satnav

GPS face-off: Why countries are vying to rule the skies with satnav

A geopolitical battle is being played out in orbit as countries vie for the best satellite navigation system

12 February 2020

Next-generation GPS satellites have an antenna for military use

USAF

SATELLITE navigation systems are integral to everyday life, an invisible utility that underpins not just how we get around, but also our power supplies and communications. While the world once shared the US Global Positioning System (GPS), rival satellites are now becoming fully operational, and a political battle is under way in orbit.

“Reliable position and timing are strategically important resources,” says John Pottle, director of the Royal Institute of Navigation in London. “Having control over them is important in the same way as having secure energy supplies or access to medicines.” …

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