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How the U.S. Navy Uses GPS Units 

How the U.S. Navy Uses GPS Units 

The U.S. government started building the Global Positioning System (GPS) in the early 1970s. It wasn’t available to the public until President Ronald Reagan issued an executive order in response to a misunderstanding between Korean Air Lines and the Soviet Air Force. Flight 007 accidentally veered off course into Soviet territory. The Soviets, assuming it was a spy plane, shot down the plane, killing everyone on board.

Reagan hoped that opening GPS to civilians would improve navigational accuracy and prevent future misunderstandings.

Today, the military relies on GPS units for naval missions and other projects. Advances in GPS technology have made it even more accurate and useful. You might wonder, though, how the Navy uses GPS units made by a company like LandAirSea.

GPS and the Navy: Navigating the World’s Water Safely

Sailors have always turned to the stars when they needed to navigate massive bodies of water. Today, the Navy uses a system of 30+ satellites in low orbit around the planet. The GPS system makes navigation safer and more precise than ever.

Some benefits of combining GPS and the Navy’s know-how include: 

  • Finding the most efficient routes between two or more places.
  • Avoiding territories owned by hostile governments.
  • Knowing when to ask permission before entering another government’s waters.
  • Tracking watercraft around the world to avoid collisions.
  • Coordinating traffic so ships know when to enter and leave narrow channels.

Additionally, the Navy can use a more accurate version of GPS called DGPS. DGPS can show buoy positions, extremely accurate positioning within harbors, and how to avoid other potential obstacles.

Tracking Navy Assets With GPS

In 2022, the Navy had a budget of $161.6 billion. Most of that money goes to operation and maintenance, infrastructure, and paying personnel. However, all branches of the military need to spend money on weapons they can use to defend the country and its allies. Those weapons, along with computers and other high-tech equipment, cost a lot of money. GPS units make it easier for the Navy to track its assets instead of misplacing them.

The LAS Overdrive has the features needed to locate stored assets and track assets in use. The waterproof, dustproof design makes it durable in diverse environments, including boats and warehouses. The GPS tracker has a long battery life that can last up to 12 months in “Low Power Mode.” Simply attach a LAS Overdrive to a critical asset and stay in contact with it until needed. Then, you can ping the GPS unit to find the asset’s precise location. It saves a lot of time and money!

Using GPS Units for Naval Missions

Naval missions might require coordinating several watercraft so they can contribute to a single goal or set of goals that move a mission forward. GPS units make it easier for officers to oversee activities and logistics.

With GPS units, you get an overview of where your vehicles and other assets are located. That means you can plan for them to reach their destinations at the right time. 

Other benefits of Navy GPS trackers include:

  • Making supply chains more efficient.
  • Improving fleet management.
  • Using real-time data to decide whether watercraft should change course.
  • Reallocating vehicles and assets to where they’re most needed.
  • Reviewing training sessions for accuracy and efficiency.
  • Viewing historical data about the locations of watercraft now and in the recent past.

Find any inefficiencies in your training and missions so you can improve them and prepare for the future.

LAS GPS Units for the U.S. Navy

LAS has three GPS units that can help the U.S. Navy succeed.

LAS 54

The LAS 54 is an affordable GPS unit with a compact design that will not get damaged in wet or dusty environments. It has a battery life that lasts between one and three weeks, depending on how often you want it to signal its location. The battery can last up to six months in Low Power Mode.

A built-in magnet lets you attach this tracker to most metal surfaces. You can also place it in boxes, under seats, and in other inconspicuous places to track movement stealthily.

LAS Overdrive

The LAS Overdrive has a slightly larger size, but it offers a considerably longer battery life. It also has a waterproof, dustproof design and magnetic mount.


Vehicles with OBD-II ports will benefit from the LAS SYNC. This GPS tracker plugs directly into the OBD-II port, so its battery never runs out of power. If you don’t mind drivers knowing that you’re tracking them, this is one of your best options.

Silvercloud GPS App

All LAS GPS units come with access to the Silvercloud app. Silvercloud has versions for iOS and Android devices. You can also access the software via a web browser. As long as you have internet access, you can use the app.

Once you have Silvercloud installed, you can:

  • Playback histories of your vehicle and asset locations.
  • See where all of your GPS units are located at any moment.
  • Share unit locations with trusted personnel.
  • Create temporary borders.
  • Receive alerts via email or text when a GPS unit crosses any of your borders.
  • Maintain the GPS units you own.

The Future of GPS and the Navy

GPS can provide accurate time and location information for nearly any part of the world. However, some spots have less reliable contact with the satellite system. (The polar region, for example, has a poor connection because satellites don’t prioritize an area with such an incredibly low population.) The Navy plans to develop a new system that uses cosmic ray muons to communicate time and location data.

It will likely take years for the Navy and its collaborators to perfect the new system. Even when they finish, they will continue using GPS when possible. GPS is a low-cost, reliable technology that people already know how to use. It wouldn’t make sense to abandon it.

Learn More About GPS and the Navy

Would you like to learn more about how LAS’s advanced GPS units and software can improve Navy missions and operations? Reach out to to start a conversation about how our technology can help!

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