GPS has been getting updates not just 20,000 km overhead, but here on Earth, as well.
At the end of 2018, the US Air Force launched the first of 32 GPS III satellites, which will replace the current constellation of satellites, ultimately offering three times greater accuracy and an eight-fold improvement in anti-jamming capabilities. You may also recall back on April 6th when the GPS Week Rollover on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) occurred. Since the week numbers are encoded into the data stream by a 10-bit field, they were only good for about 19.7 years, or 1024 weeks. However, part of the new system upgrade will include switching the week data to a 13-bit field, meaning we won’t see another rollover for about 157 years.
With all of these improvements happening throughout the field of global positioning, we would be remiss if we didn’t up our GPS game here at SparkFun as well. Over the past decade, our GPS modules have gotten faster, more accurate and easier on the wallet. And if you’re interested in increased accuracy, and are not yet familiar with Real Time Kinematics, you’re definitely going to want to take a look at this video.
To that end, here’s a short overview and comparison of our current crop of GPS modules.