Researchers at the University of Texas have found a way to locate Earth using Starlink satellites. They did this by analyzing the signals between Starlink satellites and ground stations.
Professor Todd Humphrey and his team shared the results of their research in paper. In it, they explain how they analyzed the communication between Starlink satellites and ground stations and looked for frequent synchronization signals that the satellites send to Starlink base stations on Earth. These signals are necessary for satellites and ground stations to stay in contact with each other and are transmitted four times per millisecond in the case of Starlink, according to Humphrey.
These signals allowed the researchers to determine the location and speed of the Starlink satellites in their orbit. Humphrey and his team believe that using location data from satellites and synchronization signals, they will be able to locate the Starlink ground station about 100 feet away. That is, if they used data from multiple Starlink satellites for this.
If in the future SpaceX decides to add location data to synchronization signals, the location can be determined more precisely, according to the researchers. in 2020 It seemed that there was a collaboration between researchers and SpaceX, but then it was blocked by CEO Elon Musk because, according to him, the company could not afford any distractions.
Humphrey and his team are looking into positioning on Earth through the Starlink system According to MIT Technology Review Not by chance. After all, the research was sponsored by the US Army, which is said to be looking for a backup system for the GPS technology it had developed.
By the way, this is not the first time that researchers have succeeded in determining the location on Earth via Starlink satellites. In September 2021 advanced Researchers at the University of California have a similar method for finding out the location of the Starlink ground station. Then it was possible to calculate the location of about eight meters.
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