Listing ship carrying mobile assets port of shanghai

So Who Will Build A GPS Backup?

News from Shanghai that someone is spoofing GPS signals around port terminals, creating concerns about boats colliding around maritime ports and the potential for mayhem. This looks like organized crime but the issue of port security — or the reliability of major ports like Shanghai or LA/Long Beach — is a new dimension to the GPS discussion we wrote about here.

The synopsis of our thinking is simply that LPWAN’s like Semtech’s LoRa can form the basis for a “backup” GNSS/GPS location system that in this case would work for vessels within 20–30 miles of land, perhaps further. Bi-directional, secure, very hard to spoof. And of course this works for land-based applications as well.

Putting aside issues of standardization and interoperability, the 20 mile radius out into the ocean from Shanghai could be covered with hardware costing around $10,000 in total, probably less. Or vessels off the coast could potentially free-ride off a land-based system created for other purposes like …

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