May 20, 2009
Problems ahead for GPS?
Mariners may need to brush up on their skills with the sextant. A recent report from the GAO notes that while the Air Force is in the process of modernizing the Global Positioning System, "it is uncertain that [it] will be able to acquire new satellites in time to maintain current GPS service without interruption. If not, some military operations and some civilian users could be adversely affected."
"If the Air Force does not meet its schedule goals for development of GPS IIIA satellites, there will be an increased likelihood that in 2010, as old satellites begin to fail, the overall GPS constellation will fall below the number of satellites required to provide the level of GPS service that the U.S. government commits to. Such a gap in capability could have wide-ranging impacts on all GPS users, though there are measures the Air Force and others can take to plan for and minimize these impacts."
Read the report HERE