The global positioning system turns 20 years old on Monday, November 29, 2010. The global positioning system satellites were built by Boeing and launched in 1990. The oldest satellite in the fleet is predicted to last another year to year and a half.
Craig Cooning of Boeing says: “Boeing has a solid history of developing satellites that live beyond their contractual lives. The same commitment that was evident with the first GPS satellite in 1990 lives on in bowling’s newest GPS satellite.”
GPS was first conceived in the 1970s and the Air Force is continuing to develop it. They are modernizing the current GPS fleet by replacing old satellite, repairing others, and even adding new satellite to the fleet. The next GPS satellite will be lost by the Air Force in 2011.
Currently, the Air Force is developing a new GPS system satellite, GPSIII. This new type of GPS satellite will increase the accuracy, timing, signal strength, and interoperability of GPS tracking systems. The first GPSIII satellite will be launched in 2014. This is just in time for the current influx of new GPS tracking devices in the market. The current fleet of GPS satellites will slowly be phased out with new GPSIII satellites as they die out over the next decade.
All modern GPS systems use the protocol developed by Air Force to tap into the information from the GPS fleet. This valuable data is becoming increasingly valuable as GPS tracking becomes even more popular.
Article Written by Greg Minton