Air Force Is Looking At Using Magnetic Fields To Navigate Instead Of GPS And

One of the first questions Canciani gets asked about MAGNAV is how accurate is it? The reference point is always the three-meter accuracy of GPS.

“One of the worst things people do when they discuss alternative PNT is to pretend that everything needs GPS accuracy,” he says.

In ideal conditions (at low altitudes with a fast moving platform) MAGNAV could be accurate to 10 meters. But different conditions and lower quality magnetic maps may mean it’s only good for one-kilometer accuracy. That doesn’t phase Canciani (or likely the Air Force) who points out that there is a “whole slew” of DoD missions that don’t require GPS accuracy, likely a significantly higher percentage than those which do.

To faze or not to phase, that is the question my dear Watson.

The MAGNAV navigation system is intended for low-earth-orbiting spacecrafts and not for earth navigation purposes as I thought at first glance.

https://www.ion.org/publications/abstract.cfm?articleID=12625

We present a navigation framework which uses the Earth’s magnetic anomaly field as a navigation signal to aid an inertial navigation system (INS) in an aircraft.

The concept is evidently based on this post.