The U.S. Department of Commerce announced today that they have turned on a new GPS signal named "L2C". While we have no idea what L2C stands for, we can tell you that it is specifically designed for commercial needs in that it is "transmitted with a higher effective power, so GPS receivers work better in urban areas and indoors" Moreover, the signal requires less energy to receive the signal, making it more suitable for mobile phones, GPS enabled watches and other small GPS integrated things (cameras, etc..). In addition, the Commerce Department also announced plans to unveil two more GPS signals one primarily for the Airline and transportation industry and one that will augment the original L1 signal improving performance in cities. Overall this seems like a very nice preemptive strike at the EU Galileo program that will not be operational until 2010. In particular the ability to more accurately receive signals in urban areas and indoors while using less power seems like it may open a whole new world for GPS enabled devices.
New, more accurate, GPS signal turned on
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