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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2009, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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Default Best hold off getting a GPS system

GPS Satellites To Start Failing Next Year?
May 21, 2009 | by Christopher Nickson



A new report from the GAO says that GPS satellites could begin failing as early as next year, and the replacements are way behind schedule.

If you rely on your satnav to take you places, you might want to stock up on maps, because the General Accounting Office (GAO) has issued a harsh warning that the satellites that makes global positioning possible could begin failing as early as next year, according to The Register.

In a new report, the GAO says:

"It is uncertain whether the Air Force will be able to acquire new satellites in time to maintain current GPS service without interruption."

Thatís definitely not good news. At the heart of the matter is the failure of the USAFís GPSIIF and GPSIIIA satellite programs. The former is running three years behind schedule (and $870 million over estimates), while the latter hasnít begun yet.

So the GAO warns that "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."

It recommends that the Secretary of Defense "appoint a single authority to oversee the development of GPS, including space, ground control, and user equipment assets, to ensure these assets are synchronized and well executed, and potential disruptions are minimized."

But thatís not going to help next yearÖ

GPS Satellites To Start Failing Next Year? - - Digital Trends

Harry



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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2009, 03:26 AM
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That ain't cool; all the stuff dependent upon GPS will be in a sorry state!! I wonder how fast they can get them up there. Obviously not fast enough! This will not be good for the military, ours or theirs! I was going to say something sarcastic here best not go there!!

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2009, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Jerry it will be real bad for me, I get lost even with a satnav. My lifelong dream was to take up flying, but as I get lost on the ground with signposts, I wouldn't stand a chance up in the air!

Harry



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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2009, 12:19 PM
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I'll guarantee that the military is not going to let GPS navigation disappear.
My son-in-law works with satellites. They are launching a new one in September.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2009, 12:32 PM
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Thanks Harry, you're just FULL of good news!!

Seriously, I have heard this as well but agree with Mike, military especially is just too dependent on them to allow a lapse.

I just bought a GPS, Garmin Nuvi 260, the other day. So far, I'm pretty impressed with it. Fortunately, I can read a map, and (even better) so can SWMBO. Of course, after 30 years, I've become accustomed to her telling me where to go.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-11-2009, 04:36 PM
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It sounds sort of like the "Y2K bug" scare to me

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2009, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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This is a reply from my granddaughters husband who works with my son maintaining the ABC radio and television transmitters around Western Australia and has a background in satellite communications.

Whilst I also heard the "world today" article on the ABC about GPS
satellites "due" to start failing next year, and your quite right, I
believe the system is not reliant on any one sat but of course the
coverage of the system is. I would suspect tho that it was more of a due
date in terms of the expected life etc, I don't know about you guys but
I have not been able to predict ANY electronics failures to any degree
of accuracy!

I would however put a bit of confidence in the fact that the US military
still (as far as we know) use the GPS system heavily and they are not
about to compromise their military hardware with a non functioning
guidance system. Granted it may loose some accuracy and coverage if a
few birds fall over but if that happens I think you'll find some yanks
throwing lots of military budget money at it. Unless they have already
come up with a new system.......... who knows?

I suspect someone who should be better informed made a comment along the
lines that the birds are about to reach there "use by" date to a
reporter and he didn't have anything better to write about......

Harry



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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-13-2009, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxlMyk View Post
I'll guarantee that the military is not going to let GPS navigation disappear.
My son-in-law works with satellites. They are launching a new one in September.
Mike,

I believe the US military do not use the same GPS system as we mere mortals anymore.

That's why THEY keep launching new satellites.

During the Gulf War, the US Military shut down the system at unannounced times and durations. The US Coast Guard hit the roof... I believe after that time, the US Coast Guard was given control of the system that all ships , cars boats , builders, Construction guys, farmers etc etc now use.

I doubt the US military cares much about a ship navigating the English Channel at night, in fog.......

James
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-13-2009, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianS View Post
Fortunately, I can read a map, and (even better) so can SWMBO. Of course, after 30 years, I've become accustomed to her telling me where to go.
Well Brian, if my wife isn't around, there's plenty others that will "will tell me where to go" and where to get off, too. But, I think she enjoys it too much to pass on any opportunity.

Seriously, I hope the GPSes continue to work for a while. We really do rely on our satnav to help us find our way.

Gene Howe
Snowflake, AZ

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-13-2009, 03:44 PM
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How did you get by before there were GPS? I know I just got lost---Well not really, but it has made it more interesting having them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by harrysin View Post
Jerry it will be real bad for me, I get lost even with a satnav. My lifelong dream was to take up flying, but as I get lost on the ground with signposts, I wouldn't stand a chance up in the air!

Wisdom: Where experience and knowledge combine and become one.

"We are all one decision away from Stupid!!"

Lamentations 3:22-23

"How often we sacrifice the permanent plans of God on the altar of immediate solutions"

I have a very good memory, just short is all.
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