A bunch of WTF, IMO! LOL.
I was recently told by some Aussies that it was an Australian who "invented" or in any case popularized a common industrial use for the GPS (Global Positioning System, though we include "S" in the acronym to remind ourselves it could stand for Satellite). And this fellow who presently still lives in Australia if he is still alive, they say, is actually monitored and guarded by a 24/7 crew of armed American guards wherever he goes.
I wonder if it's true, but I haven't been able to find his name. It got me thinking about the whole popularization of the idea that GPS is directly beamed from satellites into our little devices, and who came up with the brilliantly idiotic idea of tracing things further and further away from their situation, their point of relevance, etc. All I did find so far was that Roger L. Easton worked with that classic prankster Wernher Van Braun, and that the first tests according to willywonkipedia involved (as we already know)
In fact, though it is sort of written with a shrug that only 32 satellites are part of the GPS family (sorry, "constellation" sounds way more spacey-like, don't it?) it is admitted that the majority of the systems are ground systems, composed of:In 1972, the USAF Central Inertial Guidance Test Facility (Holloman AFB), conducted developmental flight tests of two prototype GPS receivers over White Sands Missile Range, using ground-based pseudo-satellites
- a master control station (MCS),
- an alternate master control station (AMCS),
- four dedicated ground antennas (4DGANS), and
- six dedicated monitor stations. (6DEMOSTESTWITDAHOSTEST)
So, when the next person says to you "Damn satellite! Why is it saying I'm there?" you might politely remind them satellites have the fuck all little to do with the ground calculations that actually reach the device, and what they are looking at is data that could be gathered from anywhere to triangulate your position using radio/micro/fashionwave frequencies on Earth.
The same article also writes some strange stories about how satellites that move around so distantly from the atmosphere could possibly be of better use than ground-based controls:
satellite maneuvers are not precise by GPS standards. So to change the orbit of a satellite, the satellite must be marked unhealthy, so receivers will not use it in their calculation.
Does this sentence sound strange to you? Satellites are not precise, so to change a satellite's orbit ... then, the satellite is marked "unhealthy" (for the brain?) so receivers will not use it.
It's like random alleged facts about satellites that someone creatively invented, unceremoniously strung together with "so", but without clear logic about why the line of reasoning just split into three parts like a crashing shuttle animation. It continues ...
And then Bobby went to the store and so there was a baseball bat and Suzy didn't like it but Bobby liked it so then, all his friends came, so they played baseball. So then, so it was really fun.Then the maneuver can be carried out, and the resulting orbit tracked from the ground. Then the new ephemeris is uploaded and the satellite marked healthy again.
Literally the rest of just the portion of the article on the control segment of GPS devolves into industrial advertising and a non-story about vague "upgrades" which are also not explained.
But the entire article itself sounds pieced together in the worst way.
Uh huh. That explains the extrasolar planets, then.It is also used in amateur astronomy using small telescopes to professionals observatories, for example [?!?], while finding extrasolar planets.
Anyone want to continue the research into what — exactly — "satellites" have to do with GPS?