Seen & Heard: Space Force recruits with GPS

September 28, 2021  - By

“Seen & Heard” is a monthly feature of GPS World magazine, traveling the world to capture interesting and unusual news stories involving the GNSS/PNT industry.

Photo: nattrass/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Photo: nattrass/iStock/Getty Images Plus


On the morning of July 10, Berkeley resident Philip Kreycik went for a run in Pleasanton, California. That day, temperatures reached 106 degrees, and he didn’t return home. His body was found Aug. 3, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. His Suunto smartwatch stopped tracking movement 4.5 hours after he started his run. GPS data from the watch showed him moving in erratic zigzags and circles before he stopped. Experts concluded he experienced delirium before succumbing to heat exhaustion.

Photo: SOPHIE-CARON/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images

Photo: SOPHIE-CARON/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images


Organized gangs riding e-scooters are stealing high-value GPS/GNSS technology from farms in the United Kingdom, reports BBC News. Insurer NFU Mutual said the cost of replacing the stolen equipment nearly doubled in a year to £2.9 million. The technology, in worldwide demand, has become the “rural thieves’ top target,” the insurer said. GPS/GNSS equipment on tractors can cost up to £10,000 per unit.


A 13-minute recruitment commercial from the U.S. Space Force debuted Aug. 24, with GPS as a star. “There’s no such thing as a day without space operations. You just don’t see them,” explains the video, mentioning how GPS is key to the operation of ATMs, cell phones, gas pumps, traffic lights, power grids, guided missiles and more. The commercial states that the Space Force is seeking guardians who will help protect satellites from attack and debris. Current guardians describe the importance of GPS. “We won’t just think outside the box, we’ll think outside the atmosphere, in one of the most challenging environments ever known,” concludes the video. “The sky is not the limit.”


Two burglars who stole a package from a drop-off box were quickly apprehended — the package was filled with Roambee GPS-based trackers heading to a COVID-19 vaccine maker for use in tracking shipments. The Santa Clara Police Department was ecstatic to learn what the thieves had stolen, reports Roambee, who knew the package had gone missing. Unaware of what was in their trunk, the thieves traveled more than 761 miles around the Bay Area before being arrested 14 days later on July 18.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.