Blog Post
What if we Lost GPS?

The electrical power has been off at the White Wolf Mine all day, and the generator is making up for the faltering grid. But what would happen if things got frostier? What if we lost GPS?

The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has estimated in one study that “a hypothetical disruption to the Global Positioning System could result in $30 billion to $45 billion in economic losses over a 30-day period.”

(Reuters) President Trump signed an executive order today, directing U.S. agencies to test the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure systems in the event of a disruption or manipulation of satellite-based global positioning system services (GPS). 

GPS is key to the functioning of electrical power grids, weather forecasting, traffic signals, smartphone applications, financial services and vehicle navigation, among a host of other systems. 

The order, directing federal agencies to develop a plan to test infrastructure systems within one year, said “disruption or manipulation of these services has the potential to adversely affect the national and economic security of the United States.”

The U.S. Transportation Department plans to recommend a backup GPS system (using fiberoptic cable) by the end of the year, officials said. Testing of 11 technologies in Massachusetts and Virginia will be completed by May.

14 thoughts on “GPS

  1. Most people only think of GPS for navigational use. What they don't know is that the GPS satellites also send down extremely accurate time signals used for synchronizing all manner of equipment, like cell phone sites for billing purposes and hand-off timing.

  2. I thought it was extremely short-sighted of the Obama administration to shut down LORAN. I recall reading that they spent more money dismantling it than it would have cost to upgrade it LORAN-E. "Short-sighted" isn't the term I want, but "treasonous" is a bit of a stretch.

  3. I know that's been underway for some time. I have no idea where it is in terms of progress from where it was to where it should be.

  4. Good thing I can read (and/or make) a map then.

    GPS is a fun toy, and useful for killing Commies etc. Never gonna replace the Map, though.

    I hold pretty much everything else that requires it (including single-mode guided weapons) in contempt though, so it can go away and I'm okay with it.


Comments are closed.

Scroll to top