The United States army is eyeing Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite constellation, whose CEO is multimillionaire Elon Musk and whose goal is to bring broadband Internet to all corners of the world.
According to the Technology Review, which advances the news this week, the US army wants to have access to this network, which has already launched 700 satellites into space, but intends to use it for another purpose: to create a navigation network that will be safer and more better quality than GPS.
A team of engineers from the University of Texas (UT) in Austin shared an online survey that describes a navigation system that is ten times more accurate than GPS and less vulnerable to counterfeiting or external interference.
According to the MIT Tech Review, after his startup was bought by Apple, UT Austin engineer Todd Humphreys met with US military officials who showed interest in getting his technology off the ground.
“This gave us a audience with SpaceX staffwho liked [do projeto], and the army gave us a year later to investigate the problem, ”he explained.
For now, this is just a project. However, if SpaceX agrees with the idea and gives the United States army access from its satellite network, even satellites that are already in orbit would be able to contribute to the navigation network – they would only need a software update. .
According to Humphreys, Elon Musk’s satellites also would improve GPS data in centimeters, since Starlink satellites can communicate at 100 megabits per second compared to the 100 bits of a GPS satellite.
“If you have a million times more opportunity to send information from your satellite, the data could be much closer to the truth,” said study co-author Peter Iannucci, also in statements to the MIT Tech Review.