“There are abundant technical details about the design and operation of the system, but the book is entirely accessible to the intelligent layman….This book is an essential history of how this technology came to be, how it works, and where it may be going in the future.”
— John Walker, founder of Autodesk, Inc. and co-author of AutoCAD
Tag Archives: Global Positioning System
On June 30, 2015, Richard joined a panel discussion on the Milt Rosenberg Show to talk about the history and future of space exploration.
Other guests were Bill Melberg, a former aviation executive and now editor of AmericasUncommonsense.com, professional speaker and frequent writer on aerospace topics, and Dr. Paul Spudis, an astrogeologist and moon expert who is senior staff scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas.
On March 1, Richard Easton and Eric Frazier joined Dr. David Livingston, host of The Space Show, for a discussion about GPS modernization. Topics included new capabilities, schedule delays, cost overruns, international competition and potential threats to the system–a concern shared by many listeners, as evidenced by questions posed by email and callers. You can listen to the podcast here.
“(The authors) tell an interesting story of how humans adapted an existing technology to provide benefits unseen by their original creators, a theme common in the history of technology….Ultimately, GPS Declassified achieves the authors’ goal of introducing the reader to important elements of the story of the development of GPS.”–Raymond O’Mara, H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Keely Grasser, author of “From Duct Tape to Drones: Military Inventions That Impact our World,” in the Winter 2015 edition of Phoenix Patriot Magazine, interviewed Richard Easton and Eric Frazier for background information on GPS, one of eight innovations covered in the article. The key point she makes: GPS technology has spread throughout so many military, commercial and consumer industries that economists now find it impossible to accurately put a dollar figure on its overall worldwide impact.
Business Insider recently spoke with Richard Easton for input on its article, How Does GPS Work?
Richard noted that while GPS costs about $1 billion a year to maintain and replenish, it produces perhaps $100 billion per year in economic benefits, quite a “bang for our buck.”
Applications for GPS continue to expand, owing largely to a decision made at the beginning–to make the system passive. GPS satellites broadcast one-way signals, like a radio station, meaning an unlimited number of users can share them without transmitting anything back to the satellite, which would saturate the system and limit its use.
“This book sets the record straight on just how remarkable has been the rise and rise of position-determination–the Global Positioning System, or GPS….(The) writers have combined their considerable talents to tell a highly readable story about the development of satellite navigation system….The book is a good primer and a stimulus to the more challenging aspects of what is now one of the fastest growing sectors in space applications.”
—Spaceflight, Vol. 56, July 2014, a British Interplanetary Society publication
From Harrison to GPS – This lecture traces the development of navigation from the 18th century longitude problem to the invention of the Global Positioning System. Easton will describe the two major proposed solutions to the longitude problem: accurate clocks as developed by John Harrison and observations of celestial objects such as lunars and the Jovian moons. He will then trace the history of satellite navigation proposals culminating in GPS which combines the two 18th century proposals, putting accurate synchronized clocks in satellites which are artificial celestial objects.
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