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February 4, 2016

USAF’s GPS crash causes 12-hour blockage to several firms

An error in the US Air Force's (USAF) Global Positioning System's (GPS) time-monitoring reportedly has caused a 12-hour blockage preventing several telecom companies from operating their systems.

An error in the US Air Force’s (USAF) Global Positioning System’s (GPS) time-monitoring reportedly has caused a 12-hour blockage preventing several telecom companies from operating their systems.

The time monitoring company Chronos discovered that some GPS time signals were 13 microseconds out, reported BBC news.

Chronos Systems CEO professor Charles Curry said: "I don’t think it’s gone quite that badly wrong since 1 January 2004, when the same satellite vehicle number [SVN], 23, decided to become unhappy.

"I don’t think it’s gone quite that badly wrong since 1 January 2004."

"What we saw was about 12 hours of problems."

The telecoms and energy sectors around the world depend upon the GPS accuracy of time measurements to control the flow of data through their networks.

USAF said in a statement reported by the publication: "The Joint Space Operations Centre at Vandenberg [Air Force Base] has not received any reports of issues with GPS-aided munitions."

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The USAF currently operates 12 GPS systems.

Launched first in 1978, the GPS satellites provide vital time, location, and velocity information for military operations, supporting the defence forces with navigational data. It simultaneously provides information for civilian users.

Additionally, it enables businesses to timestamp and helps in everyday tasks including ATM transactions, electrical power grids, communications and much more.

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