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On This Day: June 26, 1993 — Twenty-fourth and last GSP satellite launched.

“On June 26, 1993, however, the answer became as simple as the question. On that date, the U.S. Air Force launched the 24th Navstar satellite into orbit, completing a network of 24 satellites known as the Global Positioning System, or GPS.” — npsgov

Facts & Information:

Ocean navigators and explorers have attempted various methods, primarily using the stars, to help them locate their position on the planet earth.

GPS has its origins in the days when Sputnik was launched – October 4, 1957.

GPS relies on the “Doppler Effect” — radio frequencies increasing and decreasing as the transmitting object moved closer or further away — respectively.  Just as a car horn changes frequency when it moves closer and further away from a location.

Drs. William Guier and George Weiffenbach are credited with the early research on the possibility of a GPS.

When they began to study the orbits of the new Sputnik satellites they realized that the satellites were broadcasting a continuous radio receiveable tone signal. That signal changed in relationship to the location — the Doppler effect.  They realized that they could determine where the Sputnik was in its orbit based on that signal.  That began the search for a possible “GPS” system.

A GPS device is able to determine its location, rate of speed, and elevation.

A GPS device measures the time it takes to receive the radio signals at least four satellites which are positioned in space and then calculates your position.

The NAVSTAR satellite was the first positioning spacecraft set in motion in 1978 to test the concept.

By 1993, 27 such satellites were launched and positioned — 24 such satellites are used to operate the GPS network and 3 were launched as spares by 1995.

There were several attempts to cancel the idea over the early years, but now GPS is part of land, sea, and air industries.  There are very few military weapon systems that do not use a GPS system as part of its technology.

Each satellite weighs between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds.

Each satellite circles the earth twice every day.

The GPS system is presently an American owned and controlled system.  Russian, Japan, China, and the European Union have their own satellites for positioning.

“Magellan” claims to be the first producers of a hand-held GPS device sold to the public — of course it was called “Nav 1000″ — since then Tom-Tom and Garmin have also become popular units.

At any time the United States can degrade or deny service to an area of the world.  This happened in 1999 when India was denied service during the Kargil War.

SPS — Standard Positioning Services is available to anyone, which is different from PPS — Precise Positioning Services used by the Government and Military.

By 2019 — GPS is designed to be accurate within approximately one foot [Sorry — Now it is about 40 feet].

An atomic clock is required to be part of a GPS satellite since time is relative to distance — Einstein (The theory of relativity and the stretching of time) not to mention solar radiation, gravity, and the effect of temperature — A millisecond difference can put you off of your desired location by miles.

Without Atomic Clocks: “If these effects were not properly taken into account, a navigational fix based on the GPS constellation would be false after only 2 minutes, and errors in global positions would continue to accumulate at a rate of about 10 kilometers each day! The whole system would be utterly worthless for navigation in a very short time.”

“For GPS systems, an error of just one nanosecond, or a billionth of a second, would mean the location is about 12 inches off.” — livescience

Atomic Clocks are off by 1 second every 14 billion years.

Self-driving cars will rely heavily on accurate GPS satellites.  The actual beginning of self-driving cars really began in 1993!

 

Key Illustrative Thoughts:

• arriving at an unintended destination
• locating your position
• Where are you?
• direction
• destination
• direction determines destination
• misdirection
• re-calculating
• incredibly accurate
• accuracy
• a millisecond matters
• off by a mile (s)
• Spiritual Garmins / Magellans
• the spiritual doppler effect — two different sounds — coming to church and leaving
• Adam, where are you?
• found
• lost
• What path/road are you on?
• walking in the way of sinners
• our walk
• It will both show you and talk to you.
• self-driving
• directionally challenged
• disregarding instruction
• doing things your way
• current location
• intended destination
• driving in rebellion
• wandering from the path
• leaning on our own understanding

 

 



Other Information & Links:

https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/scan/communications/policy/GPS_History.html

https://www.nps.gov/gis/gps/history.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Positioning_System

https://www.pcworld.com/article/2000276/a-brief-history-of-gps.html

Part 1: The Origins of GPS, and the Pioneers Who Launched the System

Part 2: The Origins of GPS, Fighting to Survive

Part 2: The Origins of GPS, Fighting to Survive

http://theconversation.com/sharper-gps-needs-even-more-accurate-atomic-clocks-38109

http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast162/Unit5/gps.html

https://www.livescience.com/37452-physicists-test-optical-atomic-clock-method.html

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