Skip to Main Content
NASA is developing a Global Positioning System (GPS) based measurement system to provide precise determination of Earth satellite orbits, geodetic baselines, ionospheric electron content, and clock offsets between worldwide tracking sites. The system will employ variations on the differential GPS observing technique and will use a network of nine fixed ground terminals. Satellite applications will require either a GPS flight receiver or an on-board GPS beacon. Operation of the system for all but satellite tracking will begin by 1988. The first major satellite application will be a demonstration of decimeter accuracy in determining the altitude of TOPEX in the early 1990's. By then the system is expected to yield long-baseline accuracies of a few centimeters and instantaneous time synchronization to 1 ns.