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Lost No More! GPS Satellites Getting $8 Billion Upgrade Over the Next Decade

gps upgradeAn ongoing, multi-billion dollar satellite upgrade will vastly improve the accuracy of the 38-year-old Global Positioning System (GPS), according to the Los Angeles Times. Scientists and engineers from Boeing Lockheed Martin are currently working on an $8 billion project that would make GPS accurate to within an arm's length, constituting a significant improvement over its current 20-foot margin of error. To do this, the 24 satellites that make up the system will be replaced one-by-one over the next decade (the first one having been launched last weekend), and six spare satellites will be kept on hand.

In addition to providing more accurate tracking, the revamped system will help prevent GPS outages. "We know that the world relies on GPS," Colonel David B. Goldstein, the project's chief engineer, told the L.A. Times. GPS technology is used by banks, the U.S. military, Wall Street, hospitals and just about every other industry you can imagine. "It's a ubiquitous utility that everybody takes for granted now," said Bradford W. Parkinson, the inventor of GPS. Hopefully it won't be too accurate; we'd be lost without the promise of GPS misdirection horror stories. [From: The Los Angeles Times]

Tags: Boeing, GlobalPositioningSystem, GPS, GpsUpgrade, LockheedMartin, navigation, satellite, space, top