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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:13 am 
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Below is a link to an article with some details. Fair warning that this article is slanted towards military usage, but here's a pertinent extract for your usage:

"According to the Air Force, GPS 3 will have three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities compared to the current satellites. A new L1C civil signal will make it the first GPS satellite to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems like Galileo."

Here's the link to the full write-up:

http://spacenews.com/some-good-news-for-gps-3-but-trouble-looms/


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:38 am 
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zekester wrote:
Below is a link to an article with some details. Fair warning that this article is slanted towards military usage, but here's a pertinent extract for your usage:

"According to the Air Force, GPS 3 will have three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities compared to the current satellites. A new L1C civil signal will make it the first GPS satellite to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems like Galileo."

Here's the link to the full write-up:

http://spacenews.com/some-good-news-for-gps-3-but-trouble-looms/
Thanks for the update. Is it correct that Geocaching focus will need to be on the L1c Civil signal?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:09 am 
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[quote=Is it correct that Geocaching focus will need to be on the L1c Civil signal?/quote]

Yes sir, that is correct.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:21 pm 
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Zekester, can you explain what the L1c civil signal code is and how to set that up? Is it an equipment capability, or is it a setting on an existing GPS device?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:24 am 
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FBOM -

The short answer is that these signals are not enabled by the end-user. They are designed into the equipment on both ends. Put another way, the USAF has been upgrading the GPS satellites since 2005, incorporating additional signals in the new satellites and testing them. As much of the replacement of the satellite constellation and testing is complete, the new services that the upgraded system provides will soon be coming online. In order to take advantage of the new capabilities, end users will require upgraded equipment. The upgraded system is backwards compatible, so your old equipment will still work, but it won't leverage the upgraded capability of the new system.

Here's a list of the new capabilities:

1 - A more robust signal - the new satellites transmit signals at higher power, which should help when you are under heavy leave cover, or in the concrete canyons of downtown Manhattan. From a military perspective, m this also helps fight jamming.

2 - Ionospheric correction - Because there are more signals, this allows a dual frequency receiver to correct for ionospheric signal bounce, which should result in better accuracy performance. Huh? RF signals sometimes (not always consistently) bounce as they pass through the ionosphere. Since GPS is a time based system, i.e. it measures the time a signal took to get from the satellites too your device, and then triangulates between multiple signals, bounce introduces error, as it lengthens the time it takes the signal to get to your device.

3 - Interoperability - The redesigned L1 signal will enable interoperability with other GPS systems (EU's Galileo, China's BeiDou, Japan's QZSS, maybe the Indian system as well). So, if your receiver has, as an example, Galileo capability as well, it will use both the new GPS satellite signals as well as the Galileo satellite signals while operating in Galileo mode.

More specific data on all of this can be found here:

https://www.gps.gov/systems/gps/modernization/civilsignals/

What does all of these really mean for the end user? Garmin, Magellan and other GPS retailers will release new models with upgraded GPS chips that provide the upgraded capabilities; Apple, Samsung, Google and other smartphone retailers will do the same. You, the end user will have a navigation system that is more accurate in the first place, more accurate and robust in challenging signal conditions like heavy overhead cover, and more reliable worldwide.

Will geocaching change? My prediction is that it will not change appreciably. A subset of cachers will continue to place hides without usingGPS retroactively figuring out the coordinates using Google Earth as they do now. A larger subset of cachers will place their hides and only take one set of coordinates, as opposed to averaging them to provide the seeker the best possible GZ. Numerous folks will enter the game to try it, place a few sloppy ill-maintained hides and then leave the game. Groundspeak will continue to ignore large portions of its end users, and produce less than nominal software, both for web based and smartphone use. Third party entities like Project-GC, GSAK, Cachly and Geosphere will try to leverage a niche market and provide significantly better software tools than Groundspeak. And you, the dedicated cacher, will muddle through all of that and still have a great time!

The real end result: you will be less likely to get lost in the woods after losing GPS signal, and you will have better ability to find an accurate GZ while urban caching. Your new device will not cost much more than it would have anyway, and the higher cost will be baked into an overall upgrade, particularly if you use a smartphone. Your tax dollars have paid for the overall system upgrade and will continue to do so as there is greatly enhanced military capability in the upgraded system as well.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:07 pm 
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WOW! Much more than I asked for, but very much appreciated. I'm a geek, and you can never send me too much info; usually quite the opposite, which leads me to asking a ton of more questions. But in your case, you've satiated my current quest for knowledge. :-D :brick:

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.

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