Tag: GPS

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I have the OnX GPS maps on my phone that show all the land ownership and hunting access for everywhere. It’s so cool and makes enjoying public lands really easy. I was wondering if there was a GPS map one can buy that has the boundaries of different governing bodies like State Legislatures, Congressional Districts, […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Two Degrees of Separation

 

There’s a theory that they’re only at most six degrees of separation between all people living today. But it’s interesting to consider how many degrees of separation there are between people today and famous people of the past. I’ve been considering for a while writing a biography of Capt. P.V.H. Weems. He was a major figure in developing aerial navigation in the 1920s-40s. He taught Lindbergh celestial navigation after he flew to Paris.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I’ve six times disputed on Twitter the claim that Dr. Gladys West invented GPS. Two people blocked me, two did not respond and two responded nicely. We’ll see if I get a response from a museum. More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. John Glenn’s Flight

 

In elementary school, they brought TVs into our classrooms so we could watch the Mercury missions. John Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth (after many delays and cancellations).

I found this copy of one of my father’s souvenirs yesterday. I think this track comes from my father’s Naval Space Surveillance System. Two years later, it would help inspire him to start his navsat program Timation which led to GPS.

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The New York Post wrote that Con Ed, so far, has not been able to determine what caused the recent power outage in Manhattan. They originally thought it was caused by a fire, but confirmed it wasn’t. The “thorough” investigation is ongoing. Power was out for hours and brought the city to a halt. Think […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Never Argue with Sophia!

 

She’s stubborn as all get out. When she makes a plan, she sticks with it and won’t let anyone interfere. She argues with us incessantly, and when we go against her wishes, she reluctantly goes along, but only after several protests. She always wants to go back to her original plan. And she is so polite, too; it’s very annoying to see that nothing ruffles her. But most of the time we defer to her: after all, what do a couple of old geezers know about these things?!

So who is Sophia? She is our GPS system. Not the name we gave our GPS system, she is the system. We have Android Auto in our car, and sometimes I’d like to throttle Google.

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The GPS rollover last Saturday was mostly a nonevent (thankfully). But NYC has problems which continue: On April 6, something known as the GPS rollover, a cousin to the dreaded Y2K bug, mostly came and went, as businesses and government agencies around the world heeded warnings and made software or hardware updates in advance. More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Affirmative Action in Inventions

 

Last June, I attended my monthly nonfiction writers meeting. Afterward, I spoke to the black gentleman sitting next to me. He mentioned that he’d just found out that a black woman invented GPS. I said that was strange since my father invented it. He chuckled and said that I was holding out on him. I looked it up and a Dr. Gladys West was the person. It appears that she worked on refining satellite orbits and models of the earth. She did valuable work but is one of hundreds or thousands of people at that level. I dismissed it; errors about the origins of GPS are rife and in spite of my extensive writings about it I’m a relatively obscure person.

More recently, the articles about Dr. West have multiplied and an unrelated erroneous documentary about the origins of GPS was released.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How to Make a GPS System

 

The GPS has three segments:

1. Space segment: The original requirement was for 24 satellites in circular orbits in three symmetrical planes (120 degrees apart) at 12-hour orbits. Today, the Air Force uses 31 satellites in six symmetrical planes at 55 degrees of inclination (the satellites go as far as 55 degrees north and south). The satellites contain synchronized atomic clocks (mainly rubidiums).

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A Chicago free weekly paper, The Reader, used to have a column titled “Dumb Crook News”. This is the type of story which would be featured. https://www.nbc4i.com/news/u-s-world/thieves-caught-hours-after-stealing-gps-tracking-devices-from-tech-company/1064820202 More

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Many of you know that I’ve been researching, writing, and speaking for the past thirteen years about the history of GPS. I recently wrote an article about a new GPS documentary which may be of interest. I submitted two exhibits and appendices which were excluded from the published article; I can add them in a […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Why I Don’t Have a Smart Phone: Five True Stories

 

1. I was carpooling with some people on a six-hour trip (to Urbana), but before we could start, we had to get on the highway. Our GPS navigator took us right past the highway on-ramp we all knew, down some other road, then on a crazy four- or five-mile detour through other neighborhoods and odd side streets, finally coming full circle, back to the same on-ramp where we had started, which, this time, we took.

2.  For the next six hours, an extroverted older guy (maybe in his sixties) sat next to a younger guy (early twenties) and tried to make polite conversation. Even though they didn’t know each other previously, the older guy was friendly and full of energy, and it was clear that he really valued human interaction. The younger guy sometimes engaged, but his talking and even his listening eventually trailed off, as he lost interest in the conversation and paid more and more attention to reading whatever was on his phone. Perhaps unintentionally, the younger guy’s visible boredom sent the message loud and clear that he wasn’t interested in talking to the older guy. I ended up feeling bad for the older guy, and spending a lot of the trip engaging with him, even though we were sitting in different rows and had to crane some to make it work.

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A fellow Ricochet member and co-author of “GPS Declassified: From Smart Bombs to Smartphones,” @richardeaston joins TOCradio and discusses topics covering from GPS development/evolution, military use vs civilian needs, and SpaceX launch of GEN III GPS satellites. Only on TOCradio can Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, and Galileo be linked; in this case to the fathers […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. AP Fake News

 

There’s no comment section for this article, so I’ll vent here. My comments are in bold.

Why do men have a reputation for never asking for directions, even when they’re lost? Is it because they’re macho, or just don’t like maps? Why do we enjoy the hunt over finding the prize?

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. First GPS III Satellite Scheduled to be Launched by SpaceX on Tuesday

 
GPS III SV01 is now encapsulated and will be placed on the SpaceX rocket for Dec. 18 launch. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The first GPS III satellite is scheduled to be launched next Tuesday. It will be more difficult to jam or spoof. In the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, the GPS signal is spoofed and the British frigate HMS Devonshire is sent off-course into Chinese-held waters in the South China Sea (see below). One knew that GPS had become established when it was used in a Bond plot.

This trick will be more difficult once a large number of GPS III satellites are launched (always keep inertial navigation systems as a backup for your warship). When my book was published in 2013, it was projected that the first III would be launched in 2015. The delays have resulted from problems with the new ground control system.

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A new documentary is being released on November 9th. It asserts that GPS was invented at the “Lonely Halls” meeting at the Pentagon over Labor Day 1973. Dr. Bradford Parkinson, first head of the GPS Joint Program Office, has been asserting this for a while. I’ve crossed swords with him in print. The whole documentary […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Downside of TED Talks

 

The linked talk discusses some of the pitfalls with TED (Technology/Entertainment/Design) talks. I disagree with some of his points, but his major thesis is correct IMO:

So my TED talk is not about my work or my new book – the usual spiel – but about TED itself, what it is and why it doesn’t work.

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Simon Winchester is best known for his book The Professor and the Madman. He has a new book about precision engineering which mentions my Dad as the main inventor of GPS and includes my book in the bibliography. So he’s not all bad. :) More

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I’m not sure how long it will last, but the audiobook of my book GPS Declassified, ably read by Ricochet’s Douglas Pratt, is currently on sale for $7.49. I recently discussed it on the John Batchelor Show. More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The US Navy and Your Autonomous Vehicle

 
Damage to the USS John S. McCain

The United States Pacific Fleet seems to be having a run of bad luck. Or is it?

There have been five major accidents in the last 12 months.

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