[time-nuts] How well does GPS work in the Arcitic?

Skip Withrow skip.withrow at gmail.com
Tue Aug 15 15:04:07 EDT 2017

Hello Time-Nuts,

I can attest that GPS works fine at the poles, though my experience was at
the South Pole.  Every year the USGS goes to the South Pole to mark the
geographic pole.  Since the ice is moving 10 meters per year at the pole
the pole appears to march across the ice.

One year ('97-'98 I believe) I took my GPS II and sat it on the choke ring
antenna the USGS had set up.  It read S89°59'59" latitude.  I was
impressed!  We waited a bit to see if it would ever read 90° but it did
not.  It just wandered around a bit.  My speculation is that the math blows
up at 90° so it never goes there.

I have a picture of the event as well.  If I get some time this evening
I'll have to scan it and post.

Yes, I agree that the HDOP is better at the poles and the VDOP worse, but
GPS works perfectly well anywhere on earth (for most purposes).

Skip Withrow

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