GPS for aircraft

Navstar-2FPhoto:  Wikipedia

The world of GPS tracking continues to receive much needed replacements for antiquated GPS II-A satellites launched during the 1990’s.  On August 1, a United Launch Atlas 5 rocket successfully launched the third of 4 new satellites set to be launched in 2014–all part of a series of twelve new GPS satellites.

The new GPS-IIF satellites, manufactured by Boeing, come with multiple advantages over their 1990’s predecessors, including:

  • Improved atomic time signals for more accurate reporting data
  • An added signal for civilian use–to be used as a GPS signal for aircraft travel. (This signal is known as L5, which began broadcasting in April)
  • Medium-Earth orbit

The newly launched satellite is undergoing a few weeks of testing by the Air Force to assure that it is fully functional before being placed into service.

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