New GPS System Under Development

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Modern GPS technology isn’t always reliable. Take a quick hike out in the woods and it won’t be long before your navigational aid might run into trouble.

The problem is that rocks, or sometimes large city buildings, can interfere with access to the Global Positioning System. That's why space engineers at Lockheed Martin are working on a new system - designed to overcome current challenges.

Edwina Paisley is working to assemble and test the new navigation satellites, known as GPS 3, near Denver, Colorado. "For the first time in my career," Paisley explained, "I'm working on a program I can share with people what I do and they know what I'm talking about... everyone has a cell phone or a GPS device in their car."

GPS 3 is designed to be three times more powerful and three times more accurate than the existing system. Scott Lindell, Director of Business Development for Lockheed, explains the technology like this:

"Think of [it] as you're in a room and you got to talk loud enough to talk over all the noise in the room. We're going to add more voice to you so you can talk through more noise on the Earth," Lindell said.

There could also be benefits to America's military because GPS will be designed to be harder for an enemy to jam. As now, it'll be free for all users. The system won't be widely available however until the end of the decade.

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