The Department of Defense today released a new Global Positioning System (GPS) performance standard. The new standard is on the Web at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/gps/geninfo/2001SPSPerformanceStandardFINAL.pdf
The new performance standard codifies a change announced last year to discontinue DoD's ability to decrease GPS accuracy. See http://www.ostp.gov/html/0053_2.html
The standard also moves some technical specifications to a supporting document, ICD-GPS-200, on the Web at http://npoesslib.ipo.noaa.gov/techlib/doc165/doc165.pdf [link no longer available]
DoD, as operator of the GPS, now provides civil users a horizontal positioning accuracy of 36 meters, compared to 100-meter accuracy in the previous edition of the standard, which was published in 1995. DoD also promises to notify the civil user community whenever serious or unforeseen problems could affect the new performance level.
Future improvements to the system are projected to include new civil codes to correct for ionospheric distortion and to assure continuity of service. The new services will be deployed with satellite launches scheduled between 2003 and 2012, with full operational capability expected in 2014.