How the Government Enhances GPS Performance

Good news for the civilian GPS device user! As of September 18th, 2007, the United States Department of Defense stopped procuring satellites with the ability to purposely degrade the precision of civilian GPS signals. As a result, the general user will find that his or her GPS readings are now much more accurate. This capability is known as Selective Availability, and it will not be present in the next generation of satellites.

GPS will work better in the future

While it is true that the United States stopped the degradation of the GPS signals from satellite by mandating that Selective Availability levels go to zero in May of 2000, permanently removing Selective Availability altogether – as is now the case -helps to eliminate a small source of uncertainly in performance. This slight lack of reliability had naturally been a cause for concern among civilian GPS users worldwide for quite some time, and it is splendid that it will be a non-issue in the future.

Granted, this action does not materially improve the civilian GPS device’s collective performance, but it does demonstrate that the United States government is committed to its users. Additionally, on a global platform, this action shows that the international utility can be depended upon to provide and support peaceful civilian applications worldwide.

President Bush approved the decision to remove the capability for Selective Availability from the next generation of GPS satellites after it was presented to him on a recommendation from the Department of Defense. The action was meant to coincide with the United States Air Force’s effort at purchasing the next generation of Global Positioning Satellites, known as GPS III.

The Department of Defense had the ability to take this direction because GPS satellites were originally developed by them as part of a military system. Of course, GPS usage has since become an integral part of civilian life, in that it may be used for a number of different applications including telecommunications and financial transactions.

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