U.S. Officially Ends Selective Availibility in GPS
The President has accepted the recommendation of the Department of Defense to end procurement of GPS satellites that have the capability to intentionally degrade the accuracy of civilian signals the White House announced today. The move was intended to assure users of GPS equipment of the United States' commitment to support peaceful civilian use of the technology.
When originally launched, GPS satellites intentionally degraded the civilian signal, resulting less accuracy. Although the United States stopped the intentional degradation of GPS satellite signals in May 2000, there has always been the possibility that the degradation, known as Selective Availability (SA), could be turned back on. This action will remove SA capabilities from future GPS satellites.
Presently, the United States is the only country with a complete constellation of navigation satellites. Russia, China and the European Space Agency are all in the process of deploying their own satellite navigation systems.