GPS upgrade to boost accuracy to within a metre
By Barry Collins
Posted on 24 May 2010 at 08:55
The fleet of GPS satellites are being given an $8bn upgrade, improving location accuracy to within one metre.
The upgrade programme will see each of the 24 GPS satellites replaced one by one. Eighteen new satellites are being built by Boeing's Space and Intelligence Systems, while a further dozen are being manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Six will be kept as spares.
The first of the replacement satellites was launched from Cape Canaveral this weekend. The upgrades will significantly improve the accuracy of the GPS system, with a report in the Los Angeles Times claiming that "the new system is designed to pinpoint someone's location within an arm's length".
Because GPS touches so many industries, it's hard to imagine what industry wouldn't be affected
The upgrades will do far more than provide more accurate instructions for drivers, with GPS being used across a wide range of industries. As well being used for military and commercial navigation, the atomic clocks inside the GPS satellites provide the precise timing required for billions of financial transactions, from stock trades to cash machines.
"This new system has the potential to deliver capabilities we haven't seen yet," Marco Caceres, senior space analyst for aerospace research firm Teal Group told the Los Angeles Times. "Because GPS touches so many industries, it's hard to imagine what industry wouldn't be affected."
The GPS upgrade is more than three years behind schedule, after the US military insisted upon new features, such as the ability to upgrade the satellites' software remotely.
The EU is building its own equivalent of the US-controlled GPS, called Galileo, which isn't expected to be operational until 2013 at the very earliest.
Is your business a social business? For helpful info and tips visit our hub.
I felt a Galileo rant brewing all the way through reading this article, but you've somehow disarmed me by mentioning it at the end.
I'll just limit myself to a Daily Mail type comment instead "damn you Brussels".
By heimdallsaga on 24 May 2010
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?