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Editorial Advisory Board Q&A: What is the greatest strength of GPS?

August 29, 2022  - By

Compared to the other three GNSS constellations, what is currently the greatest strength of GPS? What is its greatest weakness?


Bernard Gruber

Bernard Gruber

“I would submit that the greatest strength of GPS is its ubiquity. GPS really is everywhere — worldwide and accepted. It is a trusted and free continuous source, backed by the integrity of the United States, and used for location, navigation, tracking, mapping and timing in myriad applications. Spawned and integrated applications that rely on GPS are well into the high billions of dollars! As they say, ‘When you’re on top, people will be gunning for you.’ In the case of GPS, I would offer that that is its greatest weakness — overreliance without a backup for those users that should have one.”

— Bernard Gruber, Northrop Grumman


Jules McNeff

Jules McNeff

“I’ll second Bernie’s comments and add that the nearly universal trust in GPS, despite the protestations that it is operated by the military, is a result of decades of openness regarding its operation and improvement. Rare faults are acknowledged and repaired, and planned civil modernizations, though sometimes delayed, are developed with civil collaboration and are fully and publicly documented. Its success and consistency have made it a target, which would be a significant weakness but for a growing awareness of the need for complementary PNT sources to sustain the value it has created.”

— Jules McNeff, Overlook Systems Technologies


F. Michael Swiek

F. Michael Swiek

“On strengths, it is very simple: reliability, consistency, stability and transparency.”

— Michael Swiek, GPS Alliance

This article is tagged with , , and posted in From the Magazine, Opinions

About the Author:


Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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