Talk:Global Positioning System

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Corrected Misleading Statement

At the moment, the article states: Global Positioning System (GPS) is a United States satellite system that lets those on the ground, on the water or in the air determine their position with extreme accuracy based on timing signals sent from satellites.

That's not wrong, but the previous version contained more information:

Global Positioning System (GPS) is a United States satellite system that lets those on the ground, on the water or in the air determine their position with extreme accuracy using GPS receivers. These receivers rely on precisely timing signals sent from GPS satellites, with corrections for atmospheric attenuation and relativistic effects.

That there are corrections for relativistic effects can be read in the official specification for the GPS project, i.e., the Global Positioning System Standard Positioning Service Signal Specification, 2nd edition, June 1995:

p. 13: To compensate for relativistic effects, the output frequency of the satellite's frequency standard -- as it would appear to an observer located at the satellite -- is 10.23 MHz offset by a Df/f = -4.4647 x 10-18 or a Df = -4.567 x 10-3 Hz.

p. 39: The coefficients transmitted in subframe 1 describe the offset apparent to the control segment two-frequency receivers for the interval of time in which the parameters are transmitted. This estimated correction accounts for the deterministic satellite clock error characteristics of bias, drift and aging, as well as for the satellite implementation characteristics of group delay bias and mean differential group delay. Since these coefficients do not include corrections for relativistic effects, the user's equipment must determine the requisite relativistic correction. Accordingly, the offset given below includes a term to perform this function.

So, the previous version was correct, and I'll revert to it.

FrankC aka ComedyFan 17:18, 13 January 2010 (EST)

Don't revert Andy's edits unless there is a grammar or spelling error. This has been discussed before, and a consensus has been reached. The article reflects that consensus; don't change it. JacobB 17:32, 13 January 2010 (EST)
I read all the discussions at talk pages on the theory of relativity. I'm not under the impression that a consensus was ever reached, in fact, RSchlafly's last contribution regarding some sections of the article states :
All of those statements are completely false. Relativity has no physical discontinuities, logic contradictions, or contradictions from evidence. Relativity promoters are no more liberal than those who promote quantum mechanics, superconductivity, or any other aspect of physics.
(Perhaps you haven't seen this, as it was a little bit prematurely archived)
Andy always claimed that engineers aren't interested in relativity, and that only physicists do bother. The GPS specification shows otherwise.
FrankC aka ComedyFan 17:42, 13 January 2010 (EST)
.As for "prematurely" archived, that is a pretty subjective statement you made. In any event, I heard you were leaving on vacation. I know it will do you a world of good to step back and re-focus your efforts to help. Send us a postcard, bon voyage! --ṬK/Admin/Talk 18:41, 13 January 2010 (EST)
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