Electronic Weapons: MagNav Can Now Replace GPS


February 23, 2024: After nearly a decade of effort the U.S. Air Force has finally developed a MagNav (Magnetic Navigation) system that works reliably enough to supplement or replace GPS for navigation. MagNav takes advantage of the universal presence of magnetic activity worldwide. MagNav uses an AI (Artificial Intelligence) neural network running on a laptop, or any other small computer, to compare the known location of the aircraft and magnetic activity generated by the aircraft to a worldwide map of background magnetic activity. Once this calibration is done the aircraft can takeoff and fly as far as it has to using MagNav as well as GPS to keep track of where it is. MagNav will supplement GPS and also act as a backup if GPS is being jammed or encountering some other form of interference. MagNav also does not rely on a network of space satellites to make it work.

MagNav cannot be jammed and is reliable as celestial, using stars in the night sky, navigation but is more reliable and not disabled by losing sight of the stars. If MagNav can be miniaturized and adapted to work on guided bombs and missiles, it can eliminate the growing problem of GPS jamming or spoofing, which is a form of jamming that makes a GPS signal provide a false location. The current size of a MagNav unit is similar to that of several suitcases. Similar technologies have been miniaturized over the last three decades, but it takes time.

Currently MagNav units are compact enough to be installed in commercial and military aircraft, as well as ships and ground vehicles. MagNav will be a lot more useful when handheld units are available. The original GPS equipment went through a similar miniaturization process. Now GPS units are small enough to be installed in cell phones or smart wrist watches. MagNav will have power requirements similar to miniature GPS units, which usually have the option to turn off to prolong the battery life of the watch or cellphone.




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