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Roofless Efficiency

Posted By Roger McKinley, 05 October 2017
Updated: 06 June 2018

I’ve cracked it. There’s nothing wrong with satellite navigation. The problem is roofs. If God had meant us to live in houses he would have made satellite signals pass through roof tiles. We’ve been filling the world up with structures that block satellite signals. It’s unacceptable.

I blame the government. Letting people put up roofs rather than buy an anorak is the lazy option. Why has there not been more regulation? Shopping used to be in open streets where one could stride out in wind, rain and as much EM radiation as you could shake a droopy dipole at. Who let shops be put inside Faraday cage malls?

It’s not just satellites that are being discriminated against. 5G, WiFi, Bluetooth and remote-control garage door openers all work better without roofs. The fact is that in the 21st century we ought to have realized that having perfect connectivity and location based services is more important than staying dry.

We need to start lobbying. People need to know the truth. SatNav does not work indoors, underground, under the sea, urban canyons, underground car parks, mines, sewage pipes or inside copper hot water cylinders. The list is almost endless. No more new roofs would be a start. Then we can start taking the existing ones down. Walls are only needed to keep roofs up so we can dispense with them as well, fixing the urban-canyon problem in a stroke.

And what of the new services – the efficient warehouses, goods yards and automated distribution sites of the future. Smart cities, multi-modal logistics and intelligent transport systems all need access to satellites. Take the roof off and give the workers hi-viz raincoats I say. Somethings will be more difficult to fix. Our Victorian forefathers carelessly built London’s metro system underground, forcing the adoption of wired signalling systems. Didn’t they know about Galileo?

It’s tough but the alternative is even more scary. We would have to admit that satellites are not the answer to all our positioning needs and invest in alternative systems and technologies. We wouldn’t want to do that would we?

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