Iridium announces its own alternative to GPS

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The competition heats up: Iridium has announced the availability of its own location technology comparable to GPS and using the company’s constellation of satellites.

Iridium Communications Inc. has introduced its Satellite Time and Location (STL) service, an alternative or complement to traditional indoor and outdoor location-based technologies, and declared it ready for use. STL’s position, navigation and timing (PNT) technology is deployed through Iridium’s 66 cross-linked, low-earth orbit satellite constellation. Through Iridium satellites and in GNSS receivers, STL technology can work to verify GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and other navigation services, and also can serve as an alternative for those services when GPS signals are degraded or unavailable. STL also can provide an alternative source of time when testing GPS signals.

Essentially, for practically nothing, using satellites and technology already in orbit, they have created their own system that can both compete and complement the expensive government-built GPS systems.



  • Dick Eagleson

    I think it would be wise to refit American precision guided munitions with circuitry that can use GPS, Glonass (Russia), Galileo (European Union), BeiDou (China), NAVIC (India) and this new STL thing. The Russians and Chinese might well gimmick our GPS in some future conflict, but they won’t gimmick their own.

  • This is similar to what APL was proposing in 1969.

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