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article imageWhy GPS is set to become more accurate

By Tim Sandle     Nov 17, 2018 in Technology
GPS - the global positioning system that most of us rely upon - is about to become more accurate, with the U.S. FCC ruling that smartphones and other devices will be able to access the European Galileo system.
It's a strange quirk with the "global" positioning system in that it might well work in most parts of the world, the system remains owned by the U.S. government and operated by the U.S. Air Force. This is about to change, following a ruling by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which will allow satellite navigation beyond the U.S., starting with Europe's Galileo system. The aim is to make satellite navigation more accurate and faster.
Quoted by Engadget, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said: "This breakthrough serves the public interest across many areas of our economy, including the automotive, aviation, rail, maritime, and agriculture industries. It will also produce public safety benefits by reducing risks of accidents and disaster, aiding emergency response, and synchronizing power grids and critical infrastructure."
GPS is a global navigation satellite system, beginning in 1973 and originally called Navstar GPS, which provides geolocation and time information to a GPS receiver anywhere on or near the Earth (provided there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites).
The use of Galileo will help to improved GPS. The Europe Union built and launched Galileo to provide both a civilian and military alternative to the U.S. owned GPS as well as Russia's GLONASS system, coming on-line in 2016. Presently most systems, like a smartphone, can pick up signals from Galileo but the functionality is disabled.
Galileo can provide horizontal and vertical position measurements within 1-metre precision, and better positioning services at higher latitudes than other positioning systems. This should mean an improved global GPS service.
More about Gps, Satellites, Orbit, Communication
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