What is a GPS?



The first thing about GPS that everyone should know is what it stands for. GPS stands for Global Positioning System is a worldwide radio navigation system formed from a constellation of 24 satellites and its ground stations.

GPS uses these satellites as reference points to calculate positions accurate to a matter of meters. GPS receivers have been miniaturized to just a few integrated circuits and they are also becoming very economical. Now a days GPS's are found in cars, boats, planes, construction equipment, movie making gear, farm machinery, and laptop computers. Eventually GPS is going to be everywhere even in basic telephones.

GPS works in five steps:

  • The basis of GPS is “triangulation” from satellites.
  • To “triangulate” a GPS receiver measures distance using the travel time of radio signals.
  • To measure travel time, GPS needs very accurate timing which it achieves with some tricks.
  • Along with distance, you need to know exactly where the satellites are in space.
  • You must correct for any delays the signal experiences as it travels through the atmosphere.
  • We can measure accurately the distance from three satellites from anywhere on earth.







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