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US Navy is developing GPS that uses cosmic rays to navigate the Arctic

US Navy is developing GPS that uses cosmic rays to navigate the Arctic

At higher latitudes, traditional GPS navigation is not reliable, but muons produced when cosmic rays hit Earth’s atmosphere could be used to navigate in the Arctic, as well as underground or in the water

Technology



7 December 2021

An artist’s representation of high-energy cosmic rays colliding with Earth

MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Alamy

Navigation via cosmic ray muons could supplement GPS in high latitudes, as well as working underwater and underground.

The US Office of Naval Research (ONR) has awarded a contract to UK company Geoptic Infrastructure Investigations to demonstrate navigation in the Arctic where GPS coverage is poor due to positioning of GPS satellites run by the US military, which are mostly at lower latitudes.

The firm’s Muometric Positioning System (muPS) uses muons made by cosmic rays instead of the radio signals from satellites …

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