GPS Navigation May Fail Next Year

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axekick

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How long do these things last. As far as I knew I was among the very first to use GPS which was in the very early 1990's doing land surveying - Evidently the military or government has other uses for it long before we did??
 

Kami3k

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[citation][nom]axekick[/nom]Evidently the military or government has other uses for it long before we did??[/citation]

Well DUH!!! Pretty much all major consumer tech was first used by military before consumers. GPS was something the military came up with by the way. Just like the internet, and many other things.
 

hajila

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This is a story I've seen on many news sites and it is 100% politically driven. There are backup satellites and redundancies for every aspect of the GPS system so a systemic failure is somewhere between highly unlikely and impossible. Now that the Shuttle program is winding down NASA and other space agencies will have to do what they can to milk every last dollar from the general public, including planting scare stories like this one.
 

tenor77

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Not going to happen, and the article is wrong wrong wrong.
There are 24 sats minimum, only 21 are active with a fixed path, with at least 3 spares. New satellites are launched all the time.

If you think for a second the military are going to let this go you are crazy. The operations in Iraq and Afganistan are completely reliant on these satellites and a GPS failure would be result in a complete disarray in troop deployment.

Typical media scare tactics
 

hajila

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axekick: Most of the electronics in the GPS system are from the early 80's and if I remember right our current satellite GPS went online in 1987. Before that the military used a land radio version of GPS called TADIL. The GPS satellites are geosynchronous and will continue to function in some capacity for many decades to come, but as their ability to hold a stationary position degrades they will be replaced by the newer GPS system that should be up in the next decade.
 

hajila

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tenor77: There are 26 base satellites that complete the global grid. The number of backup satellites is classified, but it is enough. If the GPS system were completely erased it wouldn't impact military operations because all of our weapons guidance system use TADIL as an error correction and redundant compliment to GPS. But you are right that is not going down anyway.
 

tenor77

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@ hajila: The initial GPS program was 24 satellites with 21 active 3 reserve. You're right that no one outside of the DOD knows how many spares there are beyond this but there are only 21 active satellites.

As far as the military, it's not just weapons but troops as well. They use GPS to report their position. The way that the army operates is very reliant on GPS. Talk to any Iraq vet. Next to his rifle his GPS is his best friend.

Although the US GPS system is virtually free to everyone in the world consumers and businesses
corrected.
 

axekick

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[citation][nom]zorky9[/nom]...and buy paper maps and a compass.[/citation]

Yes I am aware. At that time we had to contact the United States Naval Observatory to receive the coordinates we had tracked from the satellites.

If by "Pretty much all major consumer tech was first used by military" you mean Most major consumer tech was first used by the military I would challenge that assertion.
 

hellwig

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The firm said that that there's a one in five chance that the constellation will drop below the minimum 24 satellites needed to cover the globe at various times between 2011 and 2012
This says there's a 20% chance that we will have less than 24 active satellites in 3 years time. That doesn't mean GPS will cease to work entirely. This just means some spots on the globe may experience reduced accuracy due to a lack of visible satellites. The point of this article is that the Air Force is not taking the proper steps to ensure they are replaced as fast as they might start dying.

TomToms and cell phones aside, most applications that really need to know where they are have multiple backups, and the world won't stop running just because GPS is a little less accurate. Commercial planes, for example, primarily use INS (inertial navigation), GPS is a backup. They also have plenty of navigation radios like VOR, TACAN, DME, etc...
 

skit75

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I was gonna mention TACAN, hellwig beat me to it. I used to work on those receivers back in my Navy days. I didn't think it was still in use though. I feel sorry for the tech strapped to that test equipment in this day and age!
 

eddieroolz

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What I'm wondering is, why is the US government paying for GPS that's beneficial to the rest of the world?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but rest of the world should pay the US a fee for being allowed to use their GPS.
 
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@ eddieroolz
That's why other nations are launching their OWN networks, because they don't want to rely on US' network in case there are 'relationship problems' down the road. Plus, there are varying degrees of accuracy. The US government utilizes the TADIL (said above) plus satellite, which gives them the most accurate readings.
 

eddieroolz

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[citation][nom]andetsdfhdfdb[/nom]@ eddieroolzThat's why other nations are launching their OWN networks, because they don't want to rely on US' network in case there are 'relationship problems' down the road. Plus, there are varying degrees of accuracy. The US government utilizes the TADIL (said above) plus satellite, which gives them the most accurate readings.[/citation]

Thanks for the clarification, andet :)
 
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