U.S. Government Turns Off Selective Availability
SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 2, 2000 -- Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) announced today that users of its Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers will be able to achieve even greater accuracy with the U.S. Government's decision to turn off Selective Availability (SA).
"The decision to turn off SA is a milestone in GPS history and it underscores the importance of the technology as a global information utility," said Steven W. Berglund, president and CEO of Trimble. "Today, users of Trimble GPS for public safety, asset and fleet management, automotive and transportation as well as wireless communications will be able to achieve up to 10 times better accuracy than before. This boost in accuracy will allow new GPS applications to emerge, continue to increase productivity in the workplace and enhance people's lives."
Turning Off Selective Availability
On May 1, the White House announced a decision to discontinue the intentional degradation of the GPS signals to the public beginning at midnight. Civilian users of GPS will be able to pinpoint locations up to ten times more accurately.
As part of the 1996 Presidential Decision Directive goals for GPS, President Clinton committed to discontinuing the use of SA by 2006. The announcement comes six years ahead of schedule.
The decision to discontinue SA is the latest measure in an on-going effort to make GPS more responsive to civil and commercial users worldwide. Last year, Vice President Gore announced plans to modernize GPS by adding two new civilian signals to enhance the civil and commercial service. The U.S. Government will continue to provide GPS to worldwide users free of charge.
The decision to discontinue SA was based upon a recommendation by the Secretary of Defense in coordination with the Departments of State, Transportation, Commerce, the Director of Central Intelligence, and other Executive Branch Departments and Agencies. They realized that worldwide transportation safety, scientific, and commercial interests could best be served by discontinuation of SA.
Originally developed by the Department of Defense as a military system, GPS has become a global information utility. It benefits users around the world in many different applications, including air, road, marine, and rail navigation, telecommunications, emergency response, construction, agriculture, oil exploration, mining, and many more. Civilian users will realize a dramatic improvement in GPS accuracy with the discontinuation of SA.
Founded in 1978, Trimble is a recognized worldwide leader in the development of innovative Global Positioning System (GPS) technology-based products for a wide range of applications. Today, these advanced solutions combine GPS with wireless communications and sophisticated software to meet demanding applications in environments ranging from agriculture and construction to asset management, automotive and timing. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Trimble provides end-users and OEMs with leading edge solutions backed by global leadership in patents, exceptional experience and a reputation for excellence.