GPS: Everything you need to know about the space-based technology keeping us on track

Jun 4, 2023
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Indeed, in 1979 I was a brand new 2nd Lt and Electrical Engineering graduate and found myself in the GPS Joint Program Office at Los Angeles Air Force Station and understudied a protégé of Col Parkinson's in the systems engineering directorate. I suspect the accuracy concerns the Colonel mentioned (see article) were resolved by use of a sophisticated [Kalman] software filter which neutralizes, for example, real-world atmospheric, electromagnetic, gravity/magnetic fluctuations and relativistic effects. Effectively, a kind of Rosetta Stone for GPS triangulation mechanics. It was truly an honor to have worked with some of these brilliant scientists and engineers.
 
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Apr 20, 2023
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I built the first 4 'resonant Cavity tuning devices for the GPS as a part of a government project . It was originally called the Fleet Satellite Communications (Fle-Sat-Com) and was designed to be a targeting system for submarine launched nuclear missiles. The submarine would pop up its GPS antenna on top of the periscope, collect it's location data and feed the 'home' instructions to the missiles. Then wait for the Launch command.
 
My college roommate runs a small boat out of Carrabelle, FL. He told me when they switched from LORAN to GPS, the boaters would run out to the entrance pole at Dog Island and set their GPS. After a couple of them hit the pole at night, word got around just how accurate GPS was and they should lay off about 50 feet to one side and put in new numbers.
 
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Apr 20, 2023
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As soon as the military realized the bandwidth was much greater than they needed, they began leasing side channels to surveyors. Their accuracy was +/- one Centimeter. Then they began leasing channels to boaters that were accurate to +/- 20 feet. If the boaters had a problem and had to call for a rescue, they could relay their Latitude and Longitude from the GPS so the search/rescue vessels didn't have to search hundreds of square miles. Now the +/- accuracy is included on every Smart Phone. Sometimes it will tell you to turn in the middle of the block, or sometimes take you to the wrong address...
 
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