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.
Photo via GPS.gov
Public Lecture Series feat. Richard Easton – May 5, 2014 from The Explorers Club on Vimeo.
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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