Technology.am (May 21, 2009) — The GPS system could begin to fail as early as 2010; it is the warning of the federal watchdog agency to the U.S. Congress.
The GPS systems risk the possibility of blackouts and failures starting next year, due to delays in launching replacement satellites and other circumstances.
Since the old satellites start to fail in 2010, the overall GPS constellation will fall below the number of satellites required to provide the level of GPS service.
This will come true if the Air Force does not meet their schedule for the deployment of GPS IIIA satellites.
The current GPS satellite program is already $870 million over budget and there are significant technical problems that could still threaten its delivery schedule.
There are about 30 GPS satellites that are in orbit now. The new satellites in the IIF block are three years late, and the first of them won’t be launched until November at the earliest.
Other factors also contributed for the delays such as the lack of a single authority responsible for GPS.
A Government Accountability Office report recommends that the Department of Defense appoint a single authority to direct all development of GPS systems on the ground and in space.