The use of GPS is so prevalent all around the world that a lot of people never stop to think about the satellites in orbit that make it all work. The US is set to start testing of a new generation of GPS satellites with the first of the Block III GPS satellites showing up in Colorado for its first tests in an extensive series to ensure that the tech will work.
Anyone who uses GPS has had the frustration of not being able to get an accurate location reading under trees, indoors, and under cloud cover. The new generation of satellites is said to be much more powerful allowing the devices to get readings when they previously could not. The new-generation satellite also uses a common band that is shared with other countries so GPS devices can work wherever you are.
The best part though is that the new satellites have better accuracy than older versions. The new satellites have the ability to determine your location within roughly one meter whereas the older satellites needed had a range of about ten feet. This is the first satellite in the US upgrade plans. The new satellites also have military uses with signals that are harder to block. This satellite will not be used in space. The first satellite of the Block III units to go into orbit will not be delivered until May of 2014.
[via Huffington Post]