GPS is a renowned technology which stands for Global Positioning system. It is widely known as a navigation service technology that uses satellites and algorithms to determine and synchronise your time data, location, velocity for all modes of travel, including sea, air, and travel. Today, GPS can be easily found in all devices including your phone, car, or even your watch. Everything is enabled with this global positioning system. GPS functions use a technology known as trilateration. Let’s discuss this technique in detail.
What is GPS?
GPS is the abbreviated form of Global Positioning System. Global Positioning System is a global navigation satellite, a receiver, and algorithms to accompany location, velocity, and time data for air, land, and sea travels. The satellite system GPS comprises a group of twenty-four different satellites. The satellite system groups four satellites, orbiting at a distance of 20,000 km above the Earth’s surface and travelling at a tremendous speed of 14,000 km/h. Sometimes a fourth satellite is frequently used to change the data from the other three, and we want only three satellites to create a location on the earth’s surface, by calculating this procedure.
What are the three major elements associated with the use of GPS?
GPS is a mixture of three components known as segments, which perform together and offer location information. The three segments of GPS are:
Space (Satellites) – The satellites revolve around the Earth’s surface, transmitting signals to users on spatial position and period of the day.
Ground control – There is a control segment consisting of monitors stations, ground antenna, and master control stations. Activities like tracking, monitoring, and operating the satellite are done in the control segment. Across the globe, there is a monitoring station on almost every continent, like South America, North America, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Europe. It includes items like watches, smartphones, telematics devices, GPS receivers, and Transmitters.
How does GPS work?
As mentioned earlier, GPS works with the help of a technique called Trilateration. Trilateration is a process used to calculate locations, elevations, and velocity. The main process of Trilateration is to collect signals from satellites and give outcome to the location data. Satellites revolving around the Earth’s surface transmit signals to GPS devices to get interpreted, located near or on Earth’s surface. A GPS must interpret the signal from at least four satellites to obtain the location. A GPS can interpret the signals from six or more six satellites.
In the network circles twice a day, each satellite conveys a unique signal, orbital parameter and, time. Firstly, a single satellite broadcasts a microwave signal selected by a GPS or device and is used to determine the outdistanced device to the satellite. Since a GPS is only used to determine the distance from a satellite, a solo satellite cannot perform this task or provide enough information about the length or spacing from a satellite. A GPS location can be anywhere on the Earth’s spherical surface as satellites are not used to determine angles.
A circle with a radius is created when a satellite sends a signal measured from the GPS device.
When we add one more, it creates a second circle, and the location is contracted to one or two points at the intersection of the circle. When we add another, which in total becomes three, the GPS can finally determine the location as the points meet where the circle intersects. Each satellite creates a sphere, not a circle. As a result of the intersection of three spheres creates two points of intersection, the point nearest to the Earth is chosen because of the three-dimension world.
This is how ETA is calculated. As the devices move, the radius of Earth differs. When the radius or the distance of the satellite changes, new spheres are produced, which gives new locations and, by this information, we determine velocity, distance, and ETA.
What is the use of GPS?
Nowadays, GPS is the most efficient, powerful, and reliable tool for big organisations and businesses in several industries in the modern, rapidly growing world. Every group of people from scientists, boat captains, surveyors, pilots, workers in mining and agriculture uses GPS systems for their daily work. GPS has a major role as they are used in making accurate surveys maps and takes very little time for measurement, location, or tracking position for navigation. GPS has a very vast and strong connection as they have signals in almost all weather conditions.
Five major uses of GPS:
- Location – Shapes a position
- Navigation – Acquiring from one position to another
- Tracking – Observing object or personal movement
- Mapping – Making maps of the World
- Timings – Making it possible to take good time measurements.
The future of GPS
With the upgradation and rapidly changing global technology, countries are improving their GPS systems. Day by day, efforts are made to increase the accuracy of GPS devices.
- GNSS devices or receivers are expected to become smaller and have more efficiency, accuracy, and reliability.
- For natural disaster prevention, scientists are finding new ways to use GPS devices or their technology to overcome natural disasters like; earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and avalanches.
GPS has made our life easier by becoming our guide for all the paths present in this world. Be it air, land or sea. This global positioning system is present to navigate. A GPS receiver operated on Earth by some user measures up the time taken from the radio signals that travel from four or more than four satellites to their initial location and calculates the length of each satellite. By calculating this procedure, the user determines its longitude, altitude, and latitude.