The UK may have become dangerously over-reliant on satellite-navigation signals, according to a report from the Royal Academy of Engineering.
On this forum we tend to focus on nav and position uses of GPS.
Timing uses of GPS are increasing just as fast, if not faster. Put a hockey-puck antenna on the roof, connect it to a box costing a few hundred dollars, and you can run electronic lab equipment (such as counters, signal generators, and spectrum analyzers) at levels of accuracy only obtainable by national laboratories a few years ago.
Timing uses of GPS also play key roles in our cell phone and wireless data networks, most broadcast services, and computer networks.
As to "over-reliant"... GPS is by far the most cost-effective solution to a number of problems. Is "cost-effective" the same as "over-reliant"?
Are we, as a society, "over-reliant" on electric motors? Why don't I use a straight razor in the morning instead of an electric shaver -- is that being "over-reliant" on electric motors? Or just being safer and easier?
Okay, part of not being "over-reliant" is having a backup plan, a Plan B. With my lab gear, if the little box on the shelf shows three green lights, I have a very accurate GPS-locked reference signal to my instruments. If instead I have one or more red lights, that reference signal is suspect. Some instruments will automagically switch over to internal sources, and some I have to switch manually.
I'm still "over-reliant" on electricity, though. If power to the building goes out, Plan B is to have lunch early. Some things you can't substitute for.
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