The Global Positioning System (GPS) is comprised of 24 orbital U.S. Department of Defense satellites that form a worldwide navigation network. In the 1980s, the U.S. government elected to expand network access from its originally intended strict military use into commercial civilian applications. Today, it is in operation and free of subscription or setup fees for 24-hour use anywhere in the world under any weather conditions.
A parallel multi-channel design has made many commercially available GPS receivers accurate to within an average 15 meters of their locations, though atmospheric factors and other variables can sometimes affect the margin of error. Parallel multi-channel design allows receivers to lock onto satellites from the moment a GPS unit is turned on and maintain a strong lock-in settings from dense foliage to urban environments filled with tall buildings. It takes at least three satellite locks for a GPS receiver to calculate a 2-D latitude and longitude position and track real-time movement. Determining a 3-D position of latitude, longitude, and altitude requires at least four satellites. After obtaining a position, a GPS unit can then track speed, bearing, track, trip distance, a target’s distance to the plotted destination and local sunrise and sunset times, among other data points.
Receivers use information gathered from each satellites two daily circles around the Earth in precisely plotted orbits and transliteration to determine a user’s precise location on the planet at any time.
Terms related to GPS
- GPS stands for?
- What is Global Positioning system?
- GPS navigation system
- What is GPS tracking Device?
- Different gps tracking devices