If you’re new GPS Navigation system goes a bit wonky and the streets become difficult to find the chances are that you are becoming a victim of “GPS deterioration” caused by the failure of Global Positioning Satellites and the lack of invest by the US Air Force who are a tad strapped for cash at vthe moment due to the economic crisis.
But don’t worry it won’t happen this year but it could in 2010.
As millions of people across the world buy GPS systems and mobile phones which incorporate GPS US government officials claim that they are concerned that the quality of the Global Positioning System (GPS) could begin to deteriorate as early as next year, resulting in regular blackouts and failures – or even dishing out inaccurate directions to millions of people worldwide.
The warning centres on the network of GPS satellites that constantly orbit the planet and beam signals back to the ground that help pinpoint your position on the Earth’s surface.
The global GPS satellites are managed by the US Air Force who are suffering from a lack of cash right now due to the economic downturn.
There is also evidence of mismanagement and a lack of investment according to a new report which means that some of the crucial GPS satellites could begin to fail as early as next year.
The Guardian newspaper in the UK wrote “It is uncertain whether the Air Force will be able to acquire new satellites in time to maintain current GPS service without interruption,” said the report, presented to Congress. “If not, some military operations and some civilian users could be adversely affected.”
The report says that Air Force officials have failed to execute the necessary steps to keep the system running smoothly.
Although it is currently spending nearly $US2b to bring the 20-year-old system up to date, the GAO — says that delays and overspending are putting the entire system in jeopardy.
The first replacement GPS satellite was due to launch at the beginning of 2007, but has been delayed several times and is now scheduled to go into orbit in November this year – almost three years late.