logo
logo

DARPA is developing an underwater GPS alternative that relies on sound waves

avatar
James Rankins
img

On the ground, humanity relies pretty much entirely on GPS satellites to get real-time directions from point A to point B.

The Positioning System for Deep Ocean Navigation, which has been nicknamed Posydon, could be the key to more accurate underwater navigation.

GPS signals rely on high frequency radio waves to transmit their location data, but those waves can t penetrate more than a few inches beneath the surface of the ocean.

Submarines making long journeys are forced to surface while at sea in order to sync up with GPS satellites, which isn t a viable option for subs executing stealth missions.

In the absence of GPS, submarine personnel are forced to process complex calculations based on speed, distance, and direction, alongside environmental factors like ocean currents.

Reliable acoustic transmissions will depend on a detailed understanding of the way sound waves move through water, as factors from currents to sea temperature change the underwater landscape.

collect
0
avatar
James Rankins
guide
Zupyak is a free content platform for publishing and discovering stories, software and startups.