The University of Texas Hacked Starlink’s Signal So It Can Be Used as a GPS Alternative

This week I found an article from Gizmodo ( that talks about how a UT Austin lab found a way to use Starlink satellites as a GS alternative.  What originally started as a joint venture between Starlink and the UT Austin Radio Navigation Laboratory became a solo study after Starlink decided that was not a direction they wanted to take their services.  The UT Team kept researching, and found a method that did not involve breaking Starlink encryption, despite what the name of the article implied.  The team used a second antenna to track the repeating synchronization signals the Starlink satellites use.  The signal, which repeats at a regular interval, in addition to the publicly available information about the current location of every Starlink satellite, allowed the team to create an algorithm that calculates the receivers the location, to an accuracy of less than 100 feet.  While not close to currently available commercial GPS receivers, the team states that with a software update, including additional information in the synchronization signal, they could get accuracy down to less than a meter, which is comparable to GPS receivers.  The article then points out cybersecurity issues, including the fact that now that the Starlink synchronization sequences are known and tracked, it makes the entire system vulnerable to spoofing.  Another cybersecurity issue that I noticed, is that if the system is used for this purpose, a system that is made to connect to the open internet would be more susceptible to infiltration from bad actors.