Written by Richard N Williams for Galleon Systems
Since its release to the civilian population the Global Positioning System (GPS) has greatly improved and enhanced our world. From satellite navigation to the precise time used by NTP servers (Network Time Protocol) and much or our modern world’s technology.
And GPS has for several years been the only Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and is used the world over, however, times are now changing.
There are now three other GNSS systems on the horizon that will not only act as competition for GPS but will also increase its precision and accuracy.
Glonass is a Russian GNSS system that was developed during the Cold War. However, after the fall of the Soviet Union the system fell into disrepair but it has finally been revamped and is now back up and running.
The Glonass system is now being used as a navigational aid by Russian airlines and their emergency services with in-car GNSS receivers also being rolled out for the general population to use. And the Glonass system is also allowing time synchronisation using NTP time servers as it uses the same atomic clock technology as GPS.
And Glonass is not the only competition for GPS either. The European Galileo system is on track with the first satellites expected to be launched at the end of 2010 and the Chinese Compass system is also expected to be online soon which will make four fully operational GNSS systems orbiting above Earth’s orbit.
And this is good news for those interested in ultra high time synchronisation as the systems should all be interoperable meaning anyone looking to GNSS satellites can use multiple systems to ensure even greater accuracy.
It is expected that interoperable GNSS NTP time servers will soon be available to make use of these new technologies.