This paper describes the development as well as the on-ground and the in-flight evaluation of a low cost Global Positioning System (GPS) system for real-time tracking of sounding rockets. The flight unit comprises a modified ORION GPS receiver and a newly designed switchable antenna system composed of a helical antenna in the rocket tip and a dual-blade antenna combination attached to the body of the service module. Aside from the flight hardware a PC based terminal program has been developed to monitor the GPS data and graphically displays the rocket's path during the flight. In addition an Instantaneous Impact Point (IIP) prediction is performed based on the received position and velocity information. In preparation for ESA's Maxus-4 mission, a sounding rocket test flight was carried out at Esrange, Kiruna, on 19 Feb. 2001 to validate existing ground facilities and range safety installations. Due to the absence of a dedicated scientific payload, the flight offered the opportunity to test multiple GPS receivers and assess their performance for the tracking of sounding rockets. In addition to the ORION receiver, an Ashtech G12 HDMA receiver and a BAE (Canadian Marconi) Allstar receiver, both connected to a wrap-around antenna, have been flown on the same rocket as part of an independent experiment provided by the Goddard Space Flight Center. This allows an in-depth verification and trade-off of different receiver and antenna concepts.