GPS used for Space Shuttle Wreckage


Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
The portable GPS unit that they are using to mark the Shuttle wreckage is really cool! It is apparently put into a holder that is strapped around the waist of the user. It looks like an metal detector with the base in the pouch around the waist, with the tube sticking up behind the person, with the unit above his head. I wonder if they are using the public satellites or the military? The military's are reported to be much more accurate.


Ben Ruset

Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
Monmouth County
Actually, they're the same satellites.

There was a restriction built into consumer GPSs that skewed accuracy by several hundred feet. Last year or maybe the year before that was removed, so consumer GPSs are as accurate as the millitary.

WAAS was also created recently to further increase the accuracy of GPSs by allowing them to triangulate to a RF radio frequency as well as satellite.

There are certain areas of the world, though, that are fed slightly innacurate coordinates. (Iraq, Iran, etc. so GPS readings by consumer level products would still be off.)