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The U.S. will reposition GPS satellites to maximize coverage and accuracy globally, but especially over Afghanistan, U.S. Strategic Command announced.
Military planners had asked the Air Force, which operates the GPS satellites, to examine options for improving coverage in Afghanistan, where the mountainous terrain can block signals from GPS satellites. At least four satellites must be in view of a GPS receiver to obtain a position fix, with the accuracy depending on a good distribution of those satellites.
At the moment, the GPS satellites are bunched up in orbit under a policy of launching new satellites next to the craft they are designated to eventually replace. Over the next 24 months, the Air Force will slowly move the satellites apart. That's because the older satellites are lasting longer than expected, the command said Jan. 7.