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.
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 to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- 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