In general, an SPS receiver can provide position information with an error of less than 25 meter and velocity information with an error less than 5 meters per second. Upto 2 May 2000 U.S Government has activated Selective Availability (SA) to maintain optimum militar y effectiveness. Selective Availability inserts random errors into the ephemeris information broadcast by the satellites, which reduces the SPS accuracy to around 100 meters.

For many applications, 100-meter accuracy is more than acceptable. For applications that require much greater accuracy, the effects of SA and environmentally produced errors can be overcome by using a technique called Differential GPS (DGPS), which increases overall accuracy.


Differential positioning is technique that allows overcoming the effects of environmental errors and SA on the GPS signals to produce a highly accurate position fix. This is done by determining the amount of the positioning error and applying it to position fixes that were computed from collected data.

Typically, the horizontal accuracy of a single position fix from a GPS receiver is 15 meter RMS (root-mean Square) or better. If the distribution of fixes about the true position is circular normal with zero mean, an accuracy of 15 meters RMS implies that about 63% of the fixes obtained during a session are within 15 meters of the true position.


There are two types of positioning errors: correctable and non-correctable. Correctable errors are the errors that are essentially the same for two GPS receivers in the same area. Non-correctable errors cannot be correlated between two GPS receivers in the same area.