News & Press: Space

GPS week number rollover problems

02 November 2019   (0 Comments)
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Some older GPS receivers may fail on 3 November 2019 due to GPS week rollover problems.



The second GPS week number rollover (WNRO), due to there being only a 10-bit word to count the progressive GPS week number, took place on 6 April 2019.

But some older receiving devices, such as iPhones and iPads introduced in 2012 and earlier, may actually fail due to an unexplained week number anomaly just before 1200 UTC on 3 November 2019.

An extensive list of affected devices can be found at the reference below.

Further GPS week rollovers will be greatly extended from the current ~20 years with the adoption of a 13-bit counter in the new operating system, giving a rollover period of ~157 years.

Further details from the Resilient Navigation & Timing Foundation