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Author Topic:   GPS and Geo-Politics
jimh posted 12-14-2008 01:39 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
I recently read this fascinating article about the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) and where it stands today:

http://www.insidegnss.com/auto/novdec08-coverstory.pdf

The article covers the last eight years of U.S. GPS technology and the politics behind it. If you ever wondered why selective availability was shut off on GPS, this article will give you the background.

The article also places some blame for delays and disappointments in GPS development on Darleen Druyan, a career bureaucrat who was influential in changing Department of Defense procurement procedures during the Clinton Administration. She later left government service to work for a DoD contractor, and ultimately ended up in jail:

http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1005/100305k2.htm
http://www.govexec.com/features/0204/0204s1.htm

The article also discusses some of the planned improvements needed in GPS, a systems whose first satellite was launched over 30 years ago. It is hard to believe that the fundamental technology of GPS is that old--no wonder there are technological improvements available today that have not been implemented due to politics and money.

Jerry Townsend posted 12-14-2008 05:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Jim - thanks for the information. I knew/had-heard of some of the history - but those three articles were very informative. While she may have slowed down the updating of GPSs, she was a no-nonsense manager who knew how to cut through the D.C. crap and get things done. ---- Jerry/Idaho

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