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Another important predecessor to GPS came from a different branch of the United States military.

In 1964, the United States Army orbited its first Sequential Collation of Range (SECOR) satellite used for geodetic surveying.

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In 1960, the Air Force proposed a radio-navigation system called MOSAIC (MObile System for Accurate ICBM Control) that was essentially a 3-D LORAN.

A follow-on study, Project 57, was worked in 1963 and it was "in this study that the GPS concept was born." That same year, the concept was pursued as Project 621B, which had "many of the attributes that you now see in GPS" and promised increased accuracy for Air Force bombers as well as ICBMs.

Within hours they realized that, because of the Doppler effect, they could pinpoint where the satellite was along its orbit.

The Director of the APL gave them access to their UNIVAC to do the heavy calculations required.

The nuclear triad consisted of the United States Navy's submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) along with United States Air Force (USAF) strategic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

Considered vital to the nuclear deterrence posture, accurate determination of the SLBM launch position was a force multiplier.

The effects of the ionosphere on radio transmission through the ionosphere was investigated within a geophysics laboratory of Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory.

Located at Hanscom Air Force Base, outside Boston, the lab was renamed the Air Force Geophysical Research Lab (AFGRL) in 1974. has implemented several improvements to the GPS service including new signals for civil use and increased accuracy and integrity for all users, all the while maintaining compatibility with existing GPS equipment.

While there were wide needs for accurate navigation in military and civilian sectors, almost none of those was seen as justification for the billions of dollars it would cost in research, development, deployment, and operation for a constellation of navigation satellites.

During the Cold War arms race, the nuclear threat to the existence of the United States was the one need that did justify this cost in the view of the United States Congress. It is also the reason for the ultra secrecy at that time.

The next spring, Frank Mc Clure, the deputy director of the APL, asked Guier and Weiffenbach to investigate the inverse problem — pinpointing the user's location, given that of the satellite.

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