Saturday, September 30, 2006

Solar flares to disrupt GPS in 2011

Navigation, power and communications systems that rely on GPS satellite navigation will be disrupted by violent solar activity in 2011.  A study reveals Global Positioning System receivers to be unexpectedly vulnerable to bursts of radio noise produced by solar flares, created by explosions in the Sun's atmosphere.  When solar activity peaks in 2011 and 2012, it could cause widespread disruption to aircraft navigation and emergency location systems that rely heavily on satellite navigation data.  Particularly intense solar activity occurs roughly every 11 years due to cyclic changes to the Sun's magnetic field – a peak period known as the solar maximum.  Solar flares send charged particles crashing into the outer fringes of the Earth's atmosphere at high velocity, generating auroras and geomagnetic storms.


You can read the complete story at


In a related story:
It appears the solar activity has already reached Dallas Texas as the local police have lost one of their bait cars which is tracked by a GPS device in the vehicle.  While some police departments dress up plain clothes officers to impersonate ‘ladies of the evening’ in attempts to arrest those who pay for their services, other departments park vehicles with hidden surveillance equipment in high crime areas to catch car thieves.  When the vehicles are stolen, the equipment records (audio and video) the criminal activity.  The GPS unit broadcasts the speed and location of the vehicle so the good guys and arrest the bad guys.


Two days ago, reported that one of the Dallas Police Department’s bait cars has been lost due to the GPS location unit failing.  Lt. Rick Watson stated, "We want the car stolen. Yes, we do. But, then we want it recovered with the individual that stole it." Also, police don't want to give away any info on the car, as doing so would make it almost impossible to use again if its recovered. "Really what we are hoping for right now is the individual that took it - doesn't realize what he has," said Watson.


So, not only is everything bigger in Texas, they appear to be ahead of their time as well!

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