GPS and space debris... - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 33 Old 02-14-2009 Thread Starter
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Well, how do you like that... two people thinking the same thought at the same time!
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post #12 of 33 Old 02-14-2009
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So maybe some day Cam will have trouble getting out of bed when he no longer has his GPS units to guide him.

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Hey stuffit "Get a life"
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post #13 of 33 Old 02-14-2009
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But....but...but

I thought GPS couldn't be threatened. I thought it was impervious to attack. I thought we didn't need all that antiquated, old school, neanderthal-era navigation stuff. Glad I saved the Loran and sextant. All this time, the Chinese were the concern, and look, it's just an accident that's showing how vulnerable the whole deal could be. Well, they say it was an accident. Maybe the Ruskies did it on purpose. OOOoohhhhh!!!! ...........
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post #14 of 33 Old 02-14-2009
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From what I understand, the U.S satellite that was destroyed was an Iridium communications satellite. I wonder what effect this will have on the reliability of the Iridium system?
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post #15 of 33 Old 02-16-2009
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They will just move one of their "in orbit" spares to fill the gap. There was a press release about some small issues, and about it taking a month to move the spare in to replace it.


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post #16 of 33 Old 02-16-2009
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Maybe it's time for NASA to develop a giant vacuum space craft, or have the guys in the space shuttle pick up a little trash on each trip.
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post #17 of 33 Old 02-16-2009
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Funny, that's not what I got from the report to Congress here:

http://pnt.gov/public/docs/2008-biennial.pdf

It seems at least vulnerable, if not marginal. Anyway, my point is this: the prudent mariner relies on a suite of navigational aids, and that GPS is only one. It is a very good one, admittedly, but there are shortcomings to it due to the nature of space itself.

I suspect the best course would be to get a GPS receiver that can receive ALL the "constellations" either in use now or shortly to be in use. Seamless switching from the U.S. system to the European Galileos to GLONASS to COMPASS...whatever. This would greatly reduce the chance of outages in service or coverage for the average boater.

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post #18 of 33 Old 02-17-2009
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Question and answer time

Q) What is the longest single voyage I'm likely to do?

A) Probably 4 weeks at sea.

Q) How many satellites does my GPS log onto at any one time?

A) Mmmmm - normally 9, sometimes 11

Q) How many does it need to give me a fix?

A) I think it's 3

Q) What are the chances of any 6 satellites getting taken out by space debris in four weeks?

A) Very, very remote.

Q) What are the chances that all 6 will be in my sector of the sky?

A) None at all.

Q) Should I be worried?

A) I don't think so.
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post #19 of 33 Old 02-17-2009
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I say there is a better chance that your GPS gets dropped and stops functioning.
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post #20 of 33 Old 02-17-2009
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Being a plumber and knowing how much I get for scrap metal I would suggest in the not so distant future when space travel is more the norm the returning space ship's could do what the early sailing ship's did in a Australia we'd send our WOOL to England and they'd return to Sydney full of what ever the colony needed Iron roofing etc the returning ship's could return full of space junk ready to be recycled its just a thought cheers Kerry
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