Making GPS More Resilient

Nearly 50 years ago, there were no smart phones, no GPS-guided weapons, no turn-by-turn direction systems in automobiles. That’s when the U.S. Air Force launched the first two Navigation Technology Satellites, NTS-1 and NTS-2, to expand and improve the nascent positioning capability provided by GPS forerunner programs such as Transit and Timation. NTS-1, launched in 1974, and NTS-2, launched in 1977, weren’t part of the original GPS constellation but were instead orbiting testbeds for various technology systems such as clocks and solar cells.

After this multi-decade burst of positioning activity, the U.S. Air Force is preparing to launch the third in the NTS series, NTS-3, next year, after several years of launch delays. Like its predecessors, it’s aimed to improve the GPS system. 

Read more in Inside GNSS article.

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