You probably already know that the maps in smartphones and car navigators detect your location thanks to flying around the Earth GPS satellites. This technology is fully owned by USA, but in addition to its satellites in orbit of our planet is the apparatus of the Russian positioning system GLONASS, the European several devices and dozens of Chinese BeiDou satellites. Before using the mobile card, we were connected to the American satellites, but now we, without knowing it, can use Chinese counterparts. The fact that they became a little more than the others.
This became known thanks to a study conducted by the Japanese Nikkei. According to her calculations, at the moment around our planet is spinning as much as 35 Chinese BeiDou satellites, while the GPS only works with 31 of the apparatus. It’s impressive, because the first machine for the U.S. navigation system was launched into orbit in 1978, while the BeiDou system started to operate in 2000, and only in test mode. However, China withdrew its devices into orbit much more — only in 2018 was launched 18 pieces.
How many satellites in orbit?
It is known that Chinese satellites BeiDou cover the area of 100 out of 137 countries. In this case it is used in over 30 countries, most of which are in the middle East and Africa. Quite possibly, the Chinese system are even we, the people of Russia, but just do not notice it. The fact that modern devices support almost all the existing systems and ordinary users have no idea what the satellites connect app: to GPS, GLONASS or BeiDou.
From the report of the Corporation Nikkei also became known that the Russian technology of GLONASS is not so bad. She might have weaknesses because of which the manufacturers do not want to use it, but it works on the basis of as many as 24 satellites. For comparison, at the disposal of the European Association, there are only 22 satellites.
Threat if the system is GPS?
This information is both impressive and scary. Some security experts have begun to question the safety of users ‘ personal data. Their concern is reasonable, because it is, after all, is about information about the location of people to within a few meters. Recently, even the “father of GPS” Bradford Parkinson announced that he is unhappy that his technology is used for tracking people. After all, the scientist hoped that his system is only going to help drive to the right place.
Perhaps in the future GPS will be useless
It is important to understand that the satellites can’t disclose the location of a person — they have this data simply does not. Attackers may disclose the location of the person just cracking his smartphone, so GPS satellites are dangerous only indirectly.
How GPS works?
Almost every system of geolocation works on the same principle. Navigation satellites are orbiting our planet in such a way that from any point on Earth can capture the signals of at least three vehicles. Each satellite is equipped with atomic clocks that are so accurate that they measure time in nanoseconds. Receiving satellite signals that contain information about their coordinates and time on the atomic clock, terrestrial receivers, smartphones, cars and other equipment can calculate its own location. These data can be used for electronic maps to set a route to the destination.
And finally, read about the consequences of disabling the GPS