GPS launch opens new capability

New GPS satellite!! The launch and start of operations of the new SVN49/PRN01 is excellent news. You can follow the report on the news of the launch here, for example: Delta II launches penultimate GPS-IIR satellite.

This satellite is interesting because it has an experimental L5 signal transmitter. This would be the third signal for the GPS constellation which currently transmits only on L1 and L2. The new signal on L5 is needed by the GPS space segment at this time to ensure that the ITU filing for frequency use from space does not expire which it would do so by 26 August, 2009 as reported here. So even though L5 use will be sporadic and not useful for users until Block IIF and GPS III they needed to use the frequency as planned or other users could file for use.

The satellite just launched; SVN49/PRN01 has already started transmitting the navigation signal and several IGS stations and Analysis Centers have started including the satellite in the IGS products and data (IGSMAIL-5924)

Happy positioning!

Ignacio Romero

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