You probably already know very well that maps in smartphones and car navigators recognize your location thanks to GPS satellites flying around the Earth. This technology is 100% owned by the United States. In addition to the satellites orbiting our planet, there are Russian GLONASS tracking systems, several European devices, and dozens of Chinese BeiDou satellites. We used to use mobile maps to connect to American satellites, now we can use Chinese counterparts without knowing it. The fact is, there are a bit more of them than the others.
This was announced by a study of the Japanese Nikkei group. According to their calculations, up to 35 Chinese BeiDou satellites are currently orbiting our planet, while GPS works only with the help of 21 devices. This is impressive because the first device for the American navigation system was put into orbit in 1978, while the BeiDou system began working in 2000 and only in test mode. However, China has brought its equipment into orbit much more actively – only in 2018, 18 of them were brought to market.
How many satellites in orbit are you following?
Chinese BeiDou satellites are known to cover 100 out of 137 countries. It is also used by more than 30 countries, most of them in the Middle East and Africa. It is possible that even we Russians use the Chinese system, but we just do not notice it. The fact is that modern devices support almost all existing systems and normal users have no idea which satellites the applications are connected to: GPS, GLONASS or BeiDou.
A Nikkei corporate report also revealed that the Russian GLONASS technology is not so bad. Maybe it has weaknesses that technology manufacturers do not want to use, but it works on the basis of up to 24 satellites. By comparison, the European Union has only 22 satellites.
Is GPS dangerous?
This information is impressive and scary. Some security experts doubted the security of users' personal information. Your request is justified because it is information about the whereabouts of persons with an accuracy of several meters. Recently, even the "father of GPS" Bradford Parkinson himself announced that he was not happy that his technology was used to track people. Finally, the scientist hoped that his system would only help to get to the right place by car.
GPS could become useless in the future
It is important to understand that the satellites themselves can not disclose information about a person's location – they just do not have that data. Attackers can detect a person's location just by hacking their smartphone, so GPS satellites are only indirectly dangerous.
How does GPS work?
Almost every geolocation system works on the same principle. Navigation satellites are in orbit around our planet so that at least three devices can be picked up from anywhere in the world. Each satellite is equipped with an atomic clock that is accurate enough to measure time in nanoseconds. Receiving satellite signals with coordinates and time information on an atomic clock, ground-based receivers on smartphones, cars, and other devices can calculate their own location. This data can be used on electronic maps to configure the route to the final destination.
Finally, read the consequences of disabling GPS