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What is GPS

GPS is an important global navigation system that allows us to know the location of any object on earth. Each of us can use GPS from any smartphone, navigator or computer. Nowadays, it is very convenient and has replaced the previously used paper maps once and for all. In this article, we’ll tell you more about GPS, explain how it works, and explain the history of its creation.

How Does It Work

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We’ll take a closer look at the term GPS, explain the exact definition, and find out how the system works in general.

GPS – a global navigation system that uses satellite navigation to determine the location of land, air and water objects with an accuracy of 1.8 meters. It is one of the two main satellite systems that provide geolocation information, the other being GLONASS. Apart from them, there are other, less known ones – the European Galileo and the Chinese Beidou. GPS is owned by the US government and operated by its space forces. In English, this name is: Global Positioning System, which literally means – global positioning system.

GPS provides very important positioning possibilities for all users: both civilian (e.g. for home and garden equipment), military and commercial, health organizations. This service is available to absolutely everyone and this is the main advantage of GPS. It works even in unfavorable weather and allows you to determine the location on almost the entire surface of the Earth, with the exception of subpolar regions.


What information does GPS provide about a given facility?

What information does GPS provide about a given facility?
Location with an accuracy of 1.8 meters
Vehicle speed
Driving direction
Latitude, altitude, and longitude above the sky
GPS is therefore a network of currently 30 satellites that orbit the Earth at an altitude of 20,000 km and ground tracking stations that are linked into a single network. Subscribers, i.e. users, gain access to the system using devices with an installed GPS receiver. This can be, for example, a navigator, smartphone or computer.


How does GPS work?

The system works in two areas, the first is secret and accessible only to the military, the second is available to everyone. The USA may block the available frequency at any time, then the GPS will stop working.

Radio signals that the satellite sends to Earth:

Your number
Your status
Orbit parameters of all satellites, i.e. Almanac data
Exact time

To determine the location of any object, it is necessary to install a GPS receiver on it and then turn it on. The satellite system measures the distance to it, and also calculates the given time and determines the location in the world coordinate system WGS 84.

On the smartphone or navigator screen, we can see our location on the map. Then we have the option to choose the point we want to reach. The program will then configure the closest route, taking into account our current location. GPS works independently of the telephone or internet connection, which is its primary advantage. If the device has a suitable sensor and is turned on, the signal will be transmitted correctly.

GPS operation relies on radio signals. The speed of propagation of radio signals is constant and equal to the speed of light. When a given GPS navigator sends a signal, the exact time of transmission is sent with it. The satellite receives this signal with a slight delay. It also sends the navigator its exact location as well as the exact time it was sent. This delay is counted in milliseconds between sending and receiving, as well as satellite location information, and is used in the calculations.

The delay value is multiplied by the speed of the radio waves and this is how the distance to the satellite is calculated. Given the location data of at least three (four satellites at best) and the distance to them calculated from that delay, the GPS Navigator calculates its coordinates and the location data is displayed on a map loaded into a specific navigator.


What are the uses of GPS?

GPS is a system that can boast a high precision in determining geographic coordinates. The applications of the system are therefore almost endless. Originally, GPS was used by the military and is still used today. The system was made available for civilian use in the 1980s, when a Korean KAL 007 airplane was shot down on the territory of the Soviet Union. Since then, it has been used for road transport, building outlines, geodetic and cartographic projects, earthquake research, property protection, aviation and many more. It is hard to disagree with the statement that it is hard to imagine the modern world without GPS, which is additionally constantly developed, therefore its use is increasing.

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History of GPS

History of the creation of GPS The very idea of creating a satellite navigation system was born in 1957. It was then that the first artificial satellite was launched into space. Scientists who observed its flight noticed an interesting Doppler effect. When the satellite was removed, the frequency of the received signal that it had sent was decreased. As the latter, in turn, approached, on the contrary, she became stronger. There was also a delay between sending and receiving the signal. So, knowing the exact location / coordinates of at least three, and preferably four, satellites, it is possible to know the exact location of an object on Earth from the same delay.
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