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Space weather and effect on GPS navigation

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by redspiderdrone, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. redspiderdrone

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  2. N017RW

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    No.

    It's a non-issue for flying toy cameras.
     
  3. jwt873

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  4. PTCX

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    Solar flares and storms can and do have a profound affect on GPS systems but it is a case of the satelites in space being affected more so than the GPS on our quads.

    A prime example for me was this time last year when returning from a trip to Queensland I wanted to go to a place I found on the map and set the GPS in my car to take me to he spot which was to the South West of where I was but it kept sending me to the the North East.
    I found out later there had been a large solar flare that caused a polar flip in the GPS sytem that took nearly 24 hours to fix.
    It made for an interesting day trying to navigate to and through unfamiliar areas.That was the first time in a long while I had to navigate by paper map only,my GPS's are usually pretty reliable.

    So in cases such as that I would not completely discount the possibility that our birds could head off in the wrong direction in a RTH situation.

    The saving grace could be that (unlike my aging GPS units) most multi rotor GPS systems these days comunicate with both GPS and GLANOS systems so if a satelite in one system is hit and throws the whole show out of whack and the other system survives unscathed then we still have a good chance of returning home safe and sound.
     
  5. Interstellar

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    Yes, I keep an eye on the UAV Forecast app... best not to fly if you see high Kp. Might be good to fly, might not.
     
  6. Meta4

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    The potential effect of solar flares on GPS is much hyped and so far there has been no evidence that it has had any detectable effect on anyone's flying.
    Although google will find hundreds of sources saying the GPS may be affected, finding actual data to show how much it may be affected is difficult.
    About the best I've been able to find is:
    In calm conditions, single frequency GPS systems can provide position information with an accuracy of a meter or less. During a severe space weather storm, these errors can increase to tens of meters or more.
    and pages 31-32 here for some real numbers rather than maybees: http://www.nstb.tc.faa.gov/reports/PAN86_0714.pdf

    Your GPS is not centimetre accurate and is always subject to variable accuracy that is usually 1-2 metres but sometimes more.
    Flying in a high K-index is likely to result in your GPS position being out by a couple of metres and you'd probably not even notice it.
    It will not block out the GPS system and it will not make your Phantom fly away.