(ORDO NEWS) — Many of us rely on GPS (Global Positioning System) to estimate travel times, find our way to new places, avoid traffic jams, keep track of our kids, and generally avoid getting lost.
But this is not always the most reliable system, especially in urban areas where it is difficult to provide a direct line of sight to and from the satellite.
Now researchers have come up with a new and improved technology that could eventually replace GPS in some scenarios. Called SuperGPS, it is accurate to within 10 centimeters (or 3.9 inches) and is independent of navigation satellite systems.
The new approach uses networks similar to cellular networks, but instead of streaming data to our phones. the network receives accurate information about the device.
A combination of radio transmitters and fiber optic networks forms the backbone of the system, with some clever tweaks at the top.
“We realized that with a few cutting-edge innovations, the telecommunications network could be transformed into a very accurate alternative positioning system independent of GPS,” says physicist Jeroen Koelemey of the Free University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
“We have been successful and have successfully developed a system that can provide communications in the same way as existing mobile and Wi-Fi networks, as well as accurate positioning and timing, like GPS.”
At a test site with six radio transmitters, the researchers were able to demonstrate their system in action in an area of 660 square meters (7,104 square feet).
The timing of the transmitted radio signals can be measured and interpreted to measure the distance, which then indicates the position of the individual devices.
One of the key components of the new networked positioning system is synchronized atomic clocks: perfect timing means more accurate positioning. Essentially, fiber optic cables act like connections that keep everything in sync to within one billionth of a second.
The system also uses a radio bandwidth that is much larger than usual. the signals are combined together to form a large virtual bandwidth for network communications.
This extra bandwidth solves one of the biggest problems with standard GPS, which is that radio signals bounce off buildings and can get confused quickly.
“This can make GPS unreliable in urban environments, for example, which is a problem if we ever want to use automated vehicles,” says electrical engineer Christian Tiberius from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
According to the researchers who developed it, in addition to automated vehicles, the new system can be useful in planning quantum communication networks and next-generation networks for mobile devices.
While Global Navigation Since satellite systems (GNSS), including GPS, certainly have their uses and will be used for a long time to come, experts are constantly looking for ways to improve and improve them.
Additional testing will be required. set this as a genuine GPS alternative. The proposed network system will also take time to set up, even though its transmission protocols and equipment are already in use. According to the researchers, modern mobile and Wi-Fi masts can be adapted at least for this job.
“This work provides a glimpse into a future in which telecommunications networks will provide not only communication, but also independence from GNSS.
Timing and positioning services with unprecedented accuracy and reliability,” the researchers state in their published paper.
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