A power outage in the US was caused by a GPS glitch in 2006
ATMs sometimes communicate wirelessly, using a time-based encrypted code that requires synchronisation.The timing offset for each tower is also used to identify it.Yet in 2006, a temporary GPS outage due to sunspot activity meant that energy companies were not able to see where the power was going, which resulted in false billing.
What’s more, a lot more than navigation ability is lost when GPS fails today.Though it is not known why the cash machines stopped working during the San Diego event, this might have something to do with it.A precise time signal allows operators to pinpoint the start of each cycle.Towers must synchronise with each other to pass calls to other towers as you move – a GPS time signal offers a cheap and accurate way to do this.
In fact, many wireless communication technologies use GPS timing for synchronisation.If frequency cycles are not matched, two supplies will partially cancel each other out, creating inefficiency.Blackouts due to GPS failure are not out of the question.
The US power grid, for instance, requires synchronisation between the supplies of over 5000 companies.Energy suppliers use GPS time to keep alternating current from various power plants in phase across the grid.GPS timing can time-stamp financial transactions, such as stock-market trading.The problem for western authorities is that most sellers are in east Asia and laws tend only to cover the use of GPS jammers, not its ownership.
Given the potential for disruption, law-enforcers are trying to crack down on GPS jamming.But why do people need car signal jammer? Often, the device has been used by car robbers across the UK to snatch luxury cars and trucks loaded with valuable cargo, undetected by the authorities via satellite. Cellphones are a key user of this invisible utility.It is estimated that more that a billion GPS receivers are now in operation, he says, and more than 90 per cent use the signals only for the accurate time provided by the satellites.