GPS Full Form
GPS: Global Positioning System
A satellite-based navigation system knows as GPS was designed and maintained by the U.S. Department of Defence, which stands for Global Positioning System. GPS connects us to the world in a fashion we can not imagine and plays a vital role in our modern lifestyle. It facilitates us to pin down one`s exact location, velocity and time 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions. It was primarily devised to aid soldiers and military vehicles but later on, was made obtainable to anyone having a GPS receiver and nowadays is widely used to track and guide vehicles to provide with the best route from one place to another place by Airlines, shipping firms, courier companies, drivers, etc.
The very first model of GPS was devised in the earlier 1960s to allow the ships of the US navy to easily and accurately navigate their way through the vast oceans. The first system was commenced with five satellites enabling ships to check their location once every hour.
Parts can be distributed as three different segments such as:
- Space Segment: Referring to satellites. Approximately, 24 satellites are distributed in six orbital planes.
- Control Segment: Referring to stations placed on Earth to maintain and monitor the satellites.
- User Segment: Referring to users that process the navigation signals received from the GPS satellites to calculate position and time.
Working of GPS
An estimated number of 24 satellites along with some spare ones are placed in the orbit at a height of about 11,500 miles with a period of 12 hours (two orbits per day). Such is the placement of these satellites that from any point on Earth, four satellites will always be above the horizon at any given moment.
GPS uses the process of triangulation to pinpoint the location of the user. Triangulation is a process wherein a GPS device first builds a connection with 3 to 4 satellites to function and receive information. Then the satellite transmits a piece of message information inclusive of the location of the receiver. The receiver upon receiving the information from different satellites combines it all to aggregate and analyze the accurate location.
However, this GPS is not all very sufficient and yet to be successful for indoor use. They remain not so ideal for indoor use as they require an unimpeded line of sight for establishing communication. A technology called LPS (Local Positioning System) is coming out and finding its ground as an alternate of GPS as they require nearby cell towers and public Wi-Fi signals for their working.
Usage of GPS:
- In determining the exact position.
- In navigation from one place to another.
- Tracking the movement of a person or an object.
- It allows for creating maps of the world.
- It provides precise timing to the world.