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SpaceX has already launched more than 700 Starlink satellites, with thousands more due to come online in the years ahead. Their prime mission is to provide high-speed internet virtually worldwide, including to many remote locations that have lacked reliable service to date.

Now, research funded by the US Army has concluded that the growing mega-constellation could have a secondary purpose: by doubling as a low-cost, highly accurate and almost unjammable alternative to GPS. The new method would use existing Starlink satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to provide near-global navigation services. 

In a non-peer reviewed paper, Todd Humphreys and Peter Iannucci at the Radionavigation Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin claim to have devised a system that uses the same satellites, piggybacking on traditional GPS signals, to deliver location precision up to ten times as good as GPS, and much less prone to interference. 

Weak signals

The Global

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