A software and security update by Lockheed Martin will improve the U.S. Air Force's GPS ground station used to communicate with the current and legacy series GPS satellites, such as GPS 2R pictured above.

The Royal Academy of Engineering has issued a warning that the U.K.’s reliance on space-borne positioning and timing data, often with little or no backup, poses a serious threat, BBC News reports.

The engineers say satellite navigation signals are relatively weak and thus open to interference or corruption from natural or man-made sources. To counter this, they say receivers need to be capable of using a variety of data sources.

     “What we’re saying is that there is a growing interdependence between systems that people think are backing each other up,” said Martyn Thomas, who chaired the group that wrote the report. “And it might well be that if a number these systems fail simultaneously, it will cause commercial damage or just conceivably loss of life. This is wholly avoidable.”