Porton Down scientists launch new kit to help soldiers when GPS fails

Porton Down scientists launch new kit to help soldiers when GPS fails

Published by The Spire FM News Team at 2:04pm 4th October 2016.

DSTL have been developing the equipment that can means troops can be located underground, in huge buildings and isolated areas.

You know what it's like, you're in a multi-storey car park, or an old building, or the middle of nowhere, and your phone signal goes.

As annoying as that is, imagine if your life depended on someone knowing where you are at all times.

That's a problem that scientists at Porton Down's DSTL are hoping to solve by developing special sensors that are more reliable than GPS signals.

It's being put together for use by the military in the main and Chris Briggs from DSTL explains why it could prove to be a vital system:

"It means that the system allows soldiers to navigate with confidence inside a dense urban environment, including inside buildings and underground, to know where they are and to transmit that information to other members of their squad."

Here's how it might look when the soldiers where them:

Dstl Wearable sensors trial (credit Roke)

The new technology is being described as 'ground-breaking'.

It could help in finding casualties in emergencies and keeping soldiers safe from enemies in war zones.

Chris Briggs from DSTL says there's plenty more testing to do, but they're confident it'll be a huge success:

"The British BMX team have been using a version of this system to help them train for major competitions. We've had a lot of interest from the police and security communities, as well as from the emergency services and disaster relief communities, who see the value of this system. From a military perspective, we're hoping to develop this over the next few years, to be included as part of the equipment that goes onto the soldier in the early 2020s."

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