GPS BASICS: WAS:Re: BASICS: Property Rights

Michael Lorrey (
Thu, 10 Dec 1998 17:28:28 -0500

my inner geek wrote:

> Now that we know that GPS fits on chips (, how
> do we get the civilians to have the same precision of the military?

Well, I was under the impression that they were gonna remove the randomizer algorithm sometime soon, so civvies would get the same accuracy.

> How can a civilian organization build a transportation infrastructure
> that consists of computer navigated electric shuttles, when the
> civilian chips are only accurate to 100 meters?

I had thought that it was actually 30 meters (100 feet). Its actually rather easy. you can:

  1. use an inertial sensor to sense movement to compensate for variances in the gps computed course to get a true course and position
  2. do multiple transmissions from the same position and average them
  3. use three or more gps chips to work in parallel to triangulate a more accurate measurement (useful for positioning on the move).
  4. include a fixed ground based transponder in the system to calculate position. There are many systems currently available which use this method. Accuracy is supposedly less than 10 feet. A lot of surveying companys use this equipment.

> And why do we need
> our tax dollars going to tanks, planes, and cruise missiles when we
> have speed-of-light kill systems like THOR? Maybe it's time to call
> some friends at the phone company and have them start making lists of
> home addresses for the senior executives at all military industrial
> complex defense contracts, just so that when the next boondoggle war
> starts, we can begin eye-for-an-eye deanimation of the dogs of war?

Actually, gps makes existing technologies cheaper. The price of the Tomahawk missile went down from over $1 million to less than $250,000 when the old inertial sensor/tv-computer mapping system was replaced with a gps guidance system. Now most of the cost of one of those is just the engine. So we get smarter battlefield technologies for less money thanks to gps. Also THOR is a line of sight system is it not? Well, most preferred weapons can kill over the horizon....

Mike Lorrey