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Celestial Navigation

My walking partner reminded me that the Navy is once again teaching celestial navigation (some other navies never stopped). I cannot help but question this. I get that the rationale is that people will jam reception of GPS signals. I do get that -- we aren't _actually_ trying to train around the problem of, oh, say, the Arachnoids from Planet 10 eating our GPS satellite network because it is Crunchy and Yummy. But I still feel like dealing with the jammer more directly is much more likely to be successful in any imaginable use case in the Navy that might otherwise resort to celestial navigation. If you have an interesting use case, I'd love to hear it.

In the mean time, hear are some things I found, googling GPS jamming. First: a lot of sympathy for the jammers.

http://www.cnet.com/news/priest-jams-cell-phones-in-church/

Which is nucking futs. I mean, when you jam signals, you are basically saying N.O. to emergency services. Seems short sighted at a minimum, but then add to that the numerous cell phone alerts (Amber, Hurricane, etc. warnings) that run through cell phones even when muted and why exactly again should the priest get to decide for his entire church and everyone within range of his $60 jammer whether or not they get to pay with a credit card, call 911, etc. Of course, he _doesn't_ get to decide this. He got a big ole fine.

http://www.insidegnss.com/node/3676

This person had a job that involved his employer supplying him with a vehicle that had some surveillance on it, which he didn't care for so he jammed its signal. Also, as a result, he jammed everything he drove nearby, including Newark airport's flight control.

If you are the kind of person who prides themselves on not having a cell phone, and you think all this drone stuff (whether delivering explosives or Prime packages) is a bad idea, then maybe you think that jammers are A-OK, and they'll help keep the future a lot like the past. The FCC, however, disagrees.

http://www.dronejournalism.org/news/2014/6/fccs-historic-fine-for-gps-jamming-is-sign-of-hazards-ahead-for-drones

You can just imagine the havoc wreaked by the combination of people driving around in trucks with GPS jammers (because they don't like drivers yacking on cell phones and/or being surveilled by the owner of the truck/their employer) and widespread use of drones in the domestic economy. Of course, the author of that particular piece imagines all kinds of other stuff that is of dubious plausibility.

On the list of truly, unbelievable stupidity, however, the Florida do-gooder/nogoodnik who was jamming cell phones so people wouldn't drive distracted (yeah, because a dropped call isn't at all distracting, and re-dialing is not distracting At All) wound up also disrupting police officers ability to talk to dispatch. While at a traffic stop with those officers.

http://www.dailytech.com/Vigilante+Florida+Highway+Cell+Phone+Jammer+Smacked+with+48K+FCC+Fine+/article34841.htm

Turns out the jammer was disrupting cell towers whenever he went past them. So, you know, any phone calls going from land point to land point through those towers also were terminated by someone looking to improve the driving experience around him.

Having looked over a few of these articles, I stand by my original position. Celestial navigation is not where we should be going with this. We should be focusing on enforcement of (and possibly strengthening) existing jamming bans. And transitioning to newer technologies that are less easy to interfere with. Like, say, the ones described in here:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20202-gps-chaos-how-a-30-box-can-jam-your-life/

ETA: More about eLORAN

http://www.insidegnss.com/node/3853

Points out South Korea's interest in it, because it has to deal with North Korean jamming.

That blog is old skool enough to have pubic/public confusion:

"If the three agencies find themselves unable to work out a plan, however, Congress is ready to provide a measure of very pubic incentive."

Alas, the most recent news is less encouraging -- eLoran has fairly high cost and is basically a backup system.

http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/europe-gives-up-on-eloran

I think this is overselling the abandonment a bit, but I'll keep poking at it.