It could keep society humming when satellites fail.
GPS is vital to modern navigation, but it’s extremely fragile. Never mind coverage — if a satellite fails or there’s a jamming attack, it quickly becomes useless. Scientists may have a much more robust answer, though. Scientists have demonstrated a “commercially viable” quantum accelerometer that could provide navigation without GPS or other satellite technology. The device uses lasers to cool atoms to extremely low temperatures, and then measures the quantum wave properties of those atoms as they respond to acceleration.