As part of UKspace’s series of articles during World Space Week 2020, looking at how satellites improve life, Spirent’s PNT Security Technologist Guy Buesnel highlights the benefits of positioning and navigation satellites on the agricultural sector.
In 2015, the UN adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ranging from eradicating hunger to taking action on climate change. Against this broad framework, it is perhaps startling how much of a positive impact our global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) can, and do, have.
The first time many of us encountered GNSS was through our in-vehicle navigation systems, and our lives were (generally) improved by no longer driving aimlessly around our intended destination. These same principles – precision and coverage – are now instrumental in helping many areas of human activity to improve in efficiency and productivity.
Precision positioning and navigation are growing farming production exponentially, while reducing the consumption of resources – helping to address the global issue of hunger. Precision timing distributed by satellites is bringing greater efficiency to the clean energy distribution in our national grids. Autonomous vehicles enabled by satellite constellations will continue to improve efficiency and safety, from mineral mines to our roads.
Perhaps most importantly, the free access to GNSS signals, and their very global nature, operates as an enabler common to most countries. The Polar Regions aside, access to highly accurate PNT data for free opens up enormous potential for economic growth, reduced inequality and international co-operation. Access to GNSS has become a fundamental expectation and mainstay of the modern world.