GPS and Geocaching Begins an Eight Billion Dollar Upgrade

You won't be lost in the woods anymore (we hope). New GPS satellites are expected to increase accuracy.

The U.S. is upgrading its constellation of GPS satellites.  They’ll be replaced in an effort to greatly improve accuracy.  Good news for geocachers. The replacement satellites are expected to sharpen the accuracy of your GPS device from about 20 feet to just an arm’s length. They’re also touted as being more reliable – meaning you won’t lose the signal as often.

Hopefully, this means fewer Did Not Finds (DNFs) on the horizon. But it’ll take a while to reach the horizon.  The first generation of satellites will reportedly be swapped out one for one over the next decade.

The launch of the first of the next generation of GPS satellites has been scrubbed three times due to weather or technical glitches. The fourth time proved to be a charm.  The rocket carrying the satellite lifted off Thursday, May 27th from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The satellites’ software will be upgradable while they are in space and also continue to broadcast an atomic clock, keeping time to a billionth of a second.

Besides guiding travelers to destinations, ambulance crews to emergencies and owners to lost dogs, how else do we use GPS each day?