May 19, 2009

Another Reason to Know Map-Reading

The satellites that feed GPS systems may start breaking down.

UPDATE May 21: The Air Force says the situation is under control.


Peculiar said...

You beat me to this one, Chas. Should provide some entertainment for chums at Custer Cty SAR, looking for folks who can't remember which side of the Sangres they're on.

Reid Farmer said...

A major FU by the Air Force. Inconvenient for us and disasterous for the military.

BTW, when I was working for Martin Marietta on the Peacekeeper ICBM program back in the mid-80s, the GPS Satellite Program Office was in the same building with us. No one would tell us what GPS stood for.

Chas S. Clifton said...


I assume you meant "chum" in a hip and ironic way.


No kidding? Because it was part of the guidance system?

Reid Farmer said...

The Peacekeeper used an inertial guidance system so no, it was just happenstance that we shared quarters with them. I just remember the light going on in my head when GPS became public knowledge in the 90s - "Oh, that's what that was."

Of course it would be hard to imagine designing a system like that now and not using GPS. I honestly don't know if they have added a GPS capability to the Minuteman II and Poseidon ICBMs we have left. I'll have to research that. I know that GPS is used on cruise missiles (some are nukes) but don't know about ICBMs.