SpaceX has already launched more than 700 Starlink satellites, with thousands more due to come online in the years ahead. Their prime mission is to provide high-speed internet virtually worldwide, including to many remote locations that have lacked reliable service to date.
Now, research funded by the US Army has concluded that the growing mega-constellation could have a secondary purpose: by doubling as a low-cost, highly accurate and almost unjammable alternative to GPS. The new method would use existing Starlink satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to provide near-global navigation services.
In a non-peer reviewed paper, Todd Humphreys and Peter Iannucci at the Radionavigation Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin claim to have devised a system that uses the same satellites, piggybacking on traditional GPS signals, to deliver location precision up to ten times as good as GPS, and much less prone to interference.