New GPS Satellites Launched

Every day, we rely a little more on GPS satellites for both work and pleasure. Along with items like your car GPS navigation system, many items in Google Earth (such as these ships, real-time air traffic or following Frank) require GPS to enable us to see their current location.
Last week, the U.S. Air Force launched a new satellite (the GPS IIF SV-1), the first in a series of launches aimed at replacing all 24 existing satellites over the next 10 years.
These new satellites offer a variety of enhancements over the existing ones. The most important part of this project is to simply replace them. Numerous reports are concerned that the existing network may begin to fail due to age. This will obviously remedy that.
In addition, these new satellites will provide a stronger, more accurate signal. Rather than the roughly 20 foot accuracy that you currently receive, the new ones will allow for accuracy down to about 3 feet. In addition, the stronger signal will help more GPS units to function properly indoors, which could be a big boost for various augmented reality tools that are beginning to find their way into the marketplace.
You can view the launch of the IIF SV-1 (aboard the Delta IV rocket) below:

The launch of the next satellite (GPS IIF SV-2) is scheduled for November, 2010.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. Miguel Mulet Serra says:

    Is very impressive the launchin of the rocket. The GPS satellite will improve our quality of life every day to coming on.

  2. I agree, with the Governments muti-billion dollar GPS Modernization program and the National Space Policy of 2010 once the new signals are broadcast from 18 to 24 of the new satellites we will be enjoying new accurate applications making things possible that were only a dream yesterday. This is fascinating.

  3. Great Post…now my girlfriend may actually be able to get somewhere on time for once.

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