You probably already know perfectly well that the cards insmartphones and car navigation devices recognize your location thanks to GPS satellites flying around the earth This technology is wholly owned by the United States, but in addition to its satellites in orbit on our planet there are GLONASS Russian positioning system devices, several European devices and dozens of Chinese BeiDou satellites. Earlier, using mobile cards, we connected to American satellites, but now we ourselves, without suspecting it, can use Chinese counterparts. The fact is that there are a bit more of them than the rest.
This became known through research,conducted by the Japanese corporation Nikkei. According to her calculations, at present, as many as 35 Chinese BeiDou satellites revolve around our planet, while GPS works only with 31 devices. This is impressive, because the first device for the American navigation system was put into orbit back in 1978, while the BeiDou system began to work in 2000, and only in test mode. However, China put its devices into orbit much more actively - only in 2018, 18 of them were launched.
How many satellites are in orbit?
Chinese BeiDou satellites are known to coverterritory of 100 of 137 countries. Moreover, it is used by more than 30 countries, most of which are located in the Middle East and Africa. It is possible that even we Russians use the Chinese system, but we just don’t notice it. The fact is that modern devices support almost all existing systems and ordinary users have no idea which satellites the applications are connected to: GPS, GLONASS or BeiDou.
Nikkei’s report also revealedthat the Russian GLONASS technology is not so bad. Perhaps it has weaknesses due to which technology manufacturers do not want to use it, but it works on the basis of as many as 24 satellites. For comparison, the European Association has only 22 satellites at its disposal.
Is GPS dangerous?
This information is both impressive andscary. Some security experts began to doubt the safety of users' personal data. Their concern is well-founded, because, after all, we are talking about information about the location of people with an accuracy of several meters. Recently, even the “father of GPS” Bradford Parkinson himself announced that he was unhappy that his technology was used to track people. After all, the scientist hoped that his system would only help to get to the right place by car.
GPS may become useless in the future
It’s important to understand that the satellites themselves cannotdisclose information about a person’s location - they simply don’t have these data. Attackers can reveal the location of a person only by hacking his smartphone, so GPS satellites are dangerous only indirectly.
How does GPS work?
Almost every geolocation system works onone and the same principle. Navigation satellites move in the orbit of our planet in such a way that at least three devices can be picked up from anywhere in the world. Each satellite is equipped with an atomic clock that is so accurate that it measures time in nanoseconds. Receiving signals from satellites that contain information about their coordinates and time on an atomic clock, ground-based receivers on smartphones, cars and other equipment can calculate their own location. This data can be used on electronic maps to configure the route to the final destination.
And finally, read about the consequences of disabling GPS