Saturday, April 23, 2011

GPS Upgades in Offing

GPS satellites get a serious upgrade
...The newest version of a GPS satellite is called the GPS IIF and it is enhanced with more than one new upgrade.

The GPS IIF is expected to double the accuracy of GPS, which is just as good of news for fans of Foursquare as it is for the FAA. One has to wonder exactly what doubling that accuracy really means. Well, currently GPS can estimate your location to an area of about 20 feet. When the next generation satellites are in place, this location will be narrowed down to an area of two to three feet, making pinpointing locations less like a range, and more like the spot you are standing on...
We've all become pretty accustomed to GPS technology. Most fishermen don't leave the dock without it. It's built into many of our phones (not mine), and cars. Locating you position on the earth used to be a big deal. I remember a story Dad told me about his days in the Merchant Marine during WWII. A fellow 2nd mate, terribly proud of his navigational skills, took a sight on the sun one day with a sextant, carefully charted the results and determined that their Liberty Ship was 12 miles inland in the Philippine Islands. Today, on my 19 ft boat, I push button, and I can find my location to within 10-20 ft or so in a minute, and have the position charted electronically as I move along.

I wonder if new receivers will be required to take advantage of the added accuracy, however.

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