GPS Users Must Plan For Outages
Date: Wednesday, September 28 @ 16:47:41 UTC
Topic: Source ITWeek. Anyone relying on GPS should have a fallback plan says Norman Bonnor, a retired RAF Air Commodore and president of the Royal Institute of Navigation. "Too many people don't understand its foibles and vulnerabilities," he added.

The GPS system relies on a network of satellites which cannot be repaired once launched and have a limited lifespan. Sixteen of the present 28 satellites were built to last seven and a half years, but are now between eight and 14 years old with twenty-four satellites required for full coverage.

With new satellite launches only only just matching current losses of around two satellites per year the system is already stretched and it would only take the unplanned failure of one or two satellites to bring the GPS system to a stop.

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