Fundamental to NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) operation and application are the computational developments that have led to accurate user positioning. This paper discusses some of these developments from a historical perspective. The developmental odyssey begins with the events leading to initial GPS operation. Early developments in satellite geodesy, which led to the GPS constellation development, are briefly reviewed. A chronology of the incremental improvements in satellite orbit determination is presented. Contributions basic to GPS operation and accuracy, including coordinate frame definition and software development for user absolute and differential/kinematic positioning, are reviewed. Applications—including surveying and mapping, geodynamics, and spaceborne geodesy, which have motivated the most stringent accuracy requirements for GPS—are discussed. The paper ends with a discussion of expected future geodetic capabilities and then a summary of the impact of GPS geodesy contributions to the user community
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