Now Peter Iannucci and Todd Humphreys at the Radionavigation Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin have come up with another approach that has the potential to be much more cost effective. Their idea is to combine the navigation data with the internet data so that the information is broadcast by the satellite in the same stream. This does away with the need for a separate module. The researchers say this innovation has the potential to become a commercially viable alternative to traditional satellite navigation services.
The new approach will work by each satellite broadcasting an accurate timing signal that receivers on the ground can tune into. By comparing the arrival time of signals from several satellites, the ground systems can triangulate their position. That’s the same principle that all satellite navigation uses.