B. W. Parkinson

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: NAVSTAR heralds a new era in worldwide positioning and navigation capabilities. Indeed, 10 meter or better positioning errors in three dimensions has so many applications that a total recital of them would require more than a mere introductory comment. Why has this potential worldwide revolution come into being at this point in time? Principally because of two things: first, an understanding of the powerful advantages of a satellite system in providing positioning information. TRANSIT, developed by APL and the Navy, is our first system of this type. It has shown the way. NAVSTAR promises order of magnitude improvements with seven dimensional information: three dimensions of position, three dimensions of velocity, as well as precise time. This capability is a consequence of satellite geometry, improved spaceborne clocks (begun under NRL’s Timation program), and improved position-prediction techniques. The second reason for NAVSTAR’s momentum is that the using community has now started to focus dn the limitations of the current methods of doing business. These limitations include the expense of maintaining proliferated navigation and positioning aids as well as the restricted performance they offer. As a result, the advantages of a “universal” system are becoming accepted.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 25, Number 2
Pages: 93 - 94
Cite this article: Parkinson, B. W., "OVERVIEW (GPS SYSTEM DESCRIPTION)", NAVIGATION: Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 25, No. 2, Summer 1978, pp. 93-94.
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