Posted BY: Breitbart

Even as the British government considers alternatives to the fragile GPS systems that power everything from smartphones to warships, the British authority which is responsible for mapping the oceans is set to dispense with traditional paper charts, pushing ship’s navigators worldwide to digital instead – a move a leading naval expert has called shortsighted.

Navigational charts, the extremely accurate plotting of the sea floor and above-surface navigational hazards and landmarks with which mariners have kept their ships safe and on course for generations, are to be phased out within years, the British government office responsible for producing them has announced. Yet the push for digital, which the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) announcement on the matter makes clear is a cost-cutting exercise, comes as the satellite-based replacements for traditional navigation are dramatically revealed as deeply fragile by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

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Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) systems work by a ground-based receiver triangulating its own position by receiving signals from passing satellites which contain atomic clocks. Yet this service relies on the receiver being able to get this information from the satellites clearly and because the data is transmitted by radio it is relatively simple to block the frequency and render the device blind.

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