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