Currently, the orientation throughout the Earth is made based on the network of GPS satellites (Global Positioning System) and on the radio antennae, all the navigation system using this huge network in order to locate a vehicle, for example.
The current system based on satellites has, however, many problems: from the interference caused by the weather and positioning errors to recent fears of cybernetic terrorist attacks, the electronic system being really vulnerable to hackers.
Well, the British at the National Physical Laboratory received a budget of 300 million Euros from the Ministry of Defense of Great Britain to achieve a more secure device for positioning around the globe. Especially in the underwater area, because one of the goals is to track submarines – currently, the GPS system does not work underwater.
British scientists say they have made great progress in achieving a so-called “quantum compass”, meaning a device based on magnetic fields of the earth to achieve positioning. So far, it seems that there is a prototype under the form of a “1 meter long box”, but nothing is official yet.