GPS provides extremely accurate positioning information, and is used by the military, as well as commercial entities and ordinary people, to the point that it is now ubiquitous in society.
GPS relies on a system of approximately 30 satellites.
But there is a threat that these satellites could be destroyed in a military conflict. In addition, the signals are subject to spoofing, which is one of the possible explanations for why Navy vessels were captured by the Iranians in Iranian waters.
GPS is relied on by the Navy for navigation, in what is essentially push button navigation.
Yes, sextants and magnetic compasses are available, but they are far less accurate.
Precise locations are required for ships to operate effectively in the modern missile age, where knowing the exact location of the launch vehicle and the target is essential. These precise locations are provided by GPS.
But what happens if GPS is not available?
Why not use the system of navigation that birds and sea turtles use, which is the magnetic field of the Earth.
This is referred to as Geomagnetic Navigation and has been proposed for use by the Navy.
The system that’s envisioned would result in receivers similar to GPS, with similar accuracy.
What’s needed is a map of the Earth’s magnetic field, which is already available, sensors to accurately identify where you are in the magnetic field, and updates to keep the map current.
Sensors are being developed, but the ability to maintain a real-time map of the Earth’s magnetic field is still needed.
The magnetic field is constantly disrupted by magnetic noise, weather conditions and solar flares.
The ability of solar flares to disrupt the Earth’s magnetic field is another manifestation of how the sun affects the Earth.
It’s the effect of solar flares that makes geomagnetic navigation an interesting sidelight to energy issues and climate change.
It is merely another example of how the sun affects the Earth, and illustrates again why it’s entirely possible that it is the sun that is causing climate change, and not CO2 emissions.
Geomagnetic navigation can become an important alternative to GPS, should GPS fail, and is under investigation by the Navy.
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Nothing to Fear, Chapter 15, An Alternative Hypothesis, explains why the sun may be a better explanation for climate change than CO2.
Nothing to Fear is available from Amazon and some independent book sellers.
Link to Amazon: http://amzn.to/1miBhXy
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