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GPS Block 3 The Future Of Navigation

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 20 Sep 2019

The US Global Positioning System (GPS) has been in operation since 1993 and has had regular technology updates in the intervening years as older models are retired ands new ones take their place.

Currently GPS Block II satellites form the backbone of the constellation but GPS Block III will take things to a new level of accuracy, albeit at an eye watering cost of $529m to build each one.

Three times more accurate, 25% longer on duty lifespan, interoperability with EU's Galileo, Japan's QZSS and China's Beidou and an encrypted and jam resistant M-Code signal available to the US military.

There are currently two GPS III satellites on orbit and undergoing testing and validation, another due for launch in Jan 2020 and the remaining seven are expected to be operational by 2023.

Source: lockheedmartin.com

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