Apparently any GPS module made in the US and exported is classified as a munition if it is:

Capable of providing navigation information under the following operational condition:

  1. At speeds in excess of 515 m/sec (1,000 nautical miles/hour);
  2. At altitudes in excess of 18 km (60,000 feet).


Would the GPS still be usable above 18 km or while travelling more than 515 m/sec?

I have a Droid Charge.

  • Is this a real question?
    – Lie Ryan
    Sep 12, 2012 at 6:21
  • 2
    Yes, it is a real question.
    – Robz
    Sep 12, 2012 at 7:27
  • It may be a real question, but it's not on topic for this site. This isn't a problem on your Android device; it's a question of law.
    – ale
    Sep 12, 2012 at 12:30
  • @AlEverett I've rephrased the question. I think it's on topic now.
    – user13391
    Sep 12, 2012 at 14:00
  • Er... How often do you move in such a manner?
    – SaintWacko
    Sep 12, 2012 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


No it's not.

Commercial GPS receivers (like the one in your phone) only work below 18 km and below 515 m/sec. The rationale behind this is that this way they can't be used in ballistic missiles (yes, I'm serious.)

In order to circumvent this you'd need to flash a different firmware to your GPS chip, if you didn't do this you're safe. No current android device ships with munitions grade GPS receiver.

  • 1
    @Zuul Anything specific you're looking for? I've found that arms regulations are not the most documented things in the world :)
    – user13391
    Sep 12, 2012 at 10:37
  • 2
    Someone came up with these limits to the civilian world. Somewhere, there's a paper or an article about it that one can read to better understand the surroundings of this issue :) Ultimately, I'm trying to have your answer corroborated by "official" documentation :D (I've already up-voted, that should suffice to tell you that your word is enough for me)
    – Zuul
    Sep 12, 2012 at 10:42
  • 3
    @Zull, please my answer to the question android.stackexchange.com/questions/508/….
    – Narayanan
    Sep 12, 2012 at 10:53
  • 1
    @Narayanan Thank you for the follow up. ps: It's Zuul :D
    – Zuul
    Sep 12, 2012 at 10:57
  • 1
    Terribly sorry @Zuul. :)
    – Narayanan
    Sep 12, 2012 at 12:02

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