Tuesday, January 25, 2011

GPS Failures? Perhaps!

If you rely on GPS for navigation and will be sailing around the southeast United States you should be aware that the Department of Defense is conducting GPS "tests" from Jan. 20, 2011 to Feb. 22, 2011. According to the FAA the following area will be affected:

During testing, GPS will be unreliable and may be unavailable with in a circle with a radius of 370NM and centered at 304906N/0802811W or the location known as 105.25 degrees and 52.1 NM from the SSI VOR at FL400; decreasing in area with a decrease in altitude to a circle with a radius of 325NM at FL250; a circle with a radius of 260NM at 10,000FT MSL and a circle with a radius of 215NM at 4,000FT AGL.  

What does that actually look like?

Looks a bit like it covers an area around the Bermuda Triangle doesn't it?  Amver ships should be aware their GPS may give incorrect data or no information at all.  Is the Coast Guard aware of this?  Yes, and they issued this guidance (link to pdf) back in 1999. 

Worried you might have to rely on celestial navigation and you don't know how?  Check out gCaptain's post on celestial navigation 101.

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