Understanding the Basic Use of GPS

Author: Irfan Ardiansah

The Global Positioning System (GPS) has been fully operational for almost two decades. GPS consists of 27 satellites placed in a medium earth orbit. A satellite is regarded to be in medium earth orbit when it’s 35,000 kilometers higher up the Earth’s surface, approximately 22,000 miles.

The 1st experimental satellite was launched in 1972. It wasn’t till 1995, 23 years after the launch of the first experimental satellite, that GPS accepted as a fully function satellite tracking system. Still then the system was limited to military and airline business use.

When GPS was fully operational, both the military and civilian implications were rapidly acknowledged. In 1996, President Clinton, gave the system to civilian purposes also as military purposes. Due to its restrictions, early civilian GPS wasn’t very reliable and so its distribution had been severely limited. In 1998 and once again in 2004 additional civilian signals were added to GPS.

The impact of the additional civilian signals was that the quality and accuracy of the information were elevated to a level that civilian GPS has right away become a saleable product and service. As 2004 GPS as a market technology has accomplished a boom in demand without any end in potential development.

How GPS Technology Works

The 27 satellites that are put together known as the Global Positioning System have flight patterns that establish four satellites accessible to a GPS receiver at any time anyplace in the Earth. A GPS receiver must capable to reach and transmit with at least 4 satellites to be able to calculate minimally qualified location information. The greater the total of satellites a GPS receiver can reach the better it will be able to calculate a position.

In order to triangulate a geographical location a GPS receiver calculates the time that it takes for the signal of the GPS satellite to arrive at the GPS receiver. By this information the GPS unit is able to calculate the distance to each satellite. The time distance information is then applied by the mapping software package on the GPS receiver unit to specify an accurate location on earth.

Satellite signal degradation from both natural and artificial blockages can impact how precise a GPS unit is. This is why GPS units will attempt to reach a lot of GPS satellites as possible. The more satellites the GPS unit reached, the exact the location.

Purposes of GPS

The purpose of GPS technology hasn’t changed much over the last 30 years. Its main purpose is still to as accurately as possible to pinpoint a location anyplace on Earth. How GPS technology is applied hasn’t really changed either. It’s utilized for two main functions tracking and navigation.

GPS technology has developed to increase signal quality, decrease component part costs, increase the quality and sophistication of mapping software package, the integration of GPS units with other services, and more advanced marketing to a wider segment of the population.

Nowadays GPS units large and small can be found in planes, cars, attached to motorcycles, in cellular phones, PDAs and concealed in shipment to protect from theft. The shrinking of GPS unit component sizes has enabled the usage of GPS to be restrained only by your resourcefulness.

Article Written By: Irfan Ardiansah

About the Author:

I’m a jack of all trade blogger. I have two blog sites:

gadjah.net (PR2)

reeB is not Beer (PR0)

Article Source: ArticlesBase.comUnderstanding the Basic Use of GPS


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