from the its-good-to-know-where-you-are dept.
Researchers track six satellites to get location with accuracy of eight meters.
Signals from SpaceX Starlink broadband satellites can be used to pinpoint locations on Earth to within eight meters of accuracy, engineering researchers reported in a new peer-reviewed paper. Their report is part of a growing body of research into using signals from low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites for navigation, similar to how GPS works.
Kassas said his "team has used similar techniques with other low-Earth orbit satellite constellations, but with less accuracy, pinpointing locations within about 23 meters," according to the Ohio State News article.
Researchers find novel way to use Starlink system
Engineering researchers have developed a method to use signals broadcast by Starlink internet service satellites to accurately locate a position here on Earth, much like GPS does. It is the first time the Starlink system has been harnessed by researchers outside SpaceX for navigation.
[....] Their findings, shared today (Sept. 22, 2021) at the Institute of Navigation GNSS annual meeting in St. Louis, may provide a promising alternative to GPS. Their results will be published in the upcoming issue of the journal IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems.
The researchers did not need assistance from SpaceX to use the satellite signals, and they emphasized that they had no access to the actual data being sent through the satellites – only to information related to the satellite’s location and movement.
Foreign adversaries who cannot launch their own global navigation satellites might find this as a "poor man's" alternative.
Zaher Zak Kassas, Joe Khalife, Mohammad Neinavaie. The First Carrier Phase Tracking and Positioning Results with Starlink LEO Satellite Signals, IEEE (DOI: 10.1109/TAES.2021.3113880)