Modernized GPS satellites are now in orbit, and all of these satellites are capable of transmitting L2C signals (civilian signals on the satellite L2 carrier). These satellites represent a significant first step in the GPS Modernization program planned by the U.S.
How will the new L2C signals benefit you? Over the last decade GPS technology has helped users to increase productivity, improve efficiency, and lower costs. And now the new L2C signal promises to take these benefits a step beyond. With the new L2C signals, your L2 measurements can be more robust, making your GPS observations even more reliable. All you need to benefit from the stronger signals is a GPS receiver capable of tracking them.
Now that the first L2C satellites are in orbit, it's possible to look ahead to the next modernized GPS signal on the horizon, the entirely new L5 carrier. L5 has been introduced on a new generation of satellites called Block IIF, which began launching in 2010.
The arrival of L5 make the number of GPS carriers total three. With L1, L2, and L5 carriers available, it's anticipated that the capabilities of RTK systems will be significantly boosted and will thus provide exciting new benefits for high-precision GPS users. In addition, L5 signals provide a higher power level than the other carriers. As a result, acquiring and tracking signals will be easier.