THE GPS CONSTELLATION

Did you know that GPS is provided by the U.S. Air Force to the entire world free of charge? It’s made possible by satellites developed by Air Force civilian researchers; these satellites orbit the earth broadcasting radio signals that allow a form of triangulation. Beyond providing highly accurate positioning that enable the navigation devices in our cars and on our smart phones, GPS enables critical networks like cellular phones, ATM banking, and power grids, to name a few. It also provides crucial precision navigation and timing capabilities to our military forces around the world. The latest addition to this system was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral on May 15, 2013. This GPS IIF-4 spacecraft was added to the orbiting constellation of 64 satellites circling 11,000 nautical miles above Earth. The capabilities of the new IIF satellites provide greater navigational accuracy through improvements in atomic clock technology; a more robust signal for commercial aviation and safety-of-life applications, known as the new third civil signal (L5); and a 12-year design life providing long-term service. These upgrades improve anti-jam capabilities for the warfighter and improve security for military and civilian users around the world.

U.S. Air Force Air Force Civilian Sercice
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