GPS or Global Positioning System is one of the most popular technologies around the world. GPS has diverse uses in different fields, and here in this blog, we will discuss a lot of things about GPS and how it works. If you want to know what a Global Positioning System is and some important facts about it, then you are in the right place.
GPS can track your position any time on the Earth, irrespective of the weather and place. Whether you want to track where your kids are going or settle property disputes between your clients, GPS plays a crucial role in all these aspects. The GPS data collected has revealed that the height of Everest is getting taller. So can you imagine the impact of GPS in today’s world?
What is GPS?
GPS (Global Positioning System) is a space-based satellite navigation system that provides location and time information in all weather conditions.
There are three parts involved in the GPS: they are the satellite, receivers, and ground stations. One can relate the satellites with the stars as you can know where they are at any particular time. The work of the ground station is to function receivers to ensure where the satellites are.
Now talking about the receiver that might be your phone or receiver system present in your car, looking for the satellites’ signal. The Receiver must figure out the distance between two objects. It calculates the distance from the minimum of four satellites to know the exact place you are in.
Even if you are thousands of miles away from the space, your location can be significantly determined. With advancements in technology, many more advanced receivers can identify your location to within a few centimeters.
How GPS Plays a Crucial Role in Everyday Life
GPS is used to perform a lot of essential things in our day to day life. Whether you want to know your destination’s distance or the direction of it, GPS can help you by giving you the perfect piece of knowledge.
Moreover, if you’re new to a place and want to know about the interesting places nearby, GPS can provide sufficient information. Suppose you are in a home and do not know where to go, you can seek help from the GPS and dine in at your favorite restaurant.
Interesting Facts about GPS
Now that you have known about what GPS is all about and how it works, we will discuss interesting facts that you have never heard about GPS.
1. 24 Active GPS Satellites are Constantly Revolving Around the Earth.
You will be amazed to know that there are at least 24 active GPS satellites circling the Earth. However, the number has reached 30 as of now. So that the receiver gets information from the satellite all the time, six orbits are always found at the line of sight.
2. GPS Takes 12 Hours to Circle the Earth
The satellites are at a distance of 12,000 miles from the Earth. The satellite’s speed is 11,000 km/h, and the satellites are provided with small boosters that assist them in the adjustment of their part when required.
3. Combine Signals from At Least Four Satellites
To get proper reading, the GPS receiver will receive the signal from a minimum of four satellites. In some cases, three satellites are enough to get a reliable position reading of the GPS.
4. It Is Not Only Meant For Navigation
Most people think that GPS is only used for navigation; well GPS application is in diverse fields and can also get the exact timestamp. The GPS satellites feature multiple atomic clocks that include the time in it. The signals help the GPS to determine the precise time to 100 billion of a second.
5. GPS Mission is in Progress
The global positioning system is continuously being updated, and new satellites are launched to improve precision. So the mission is still in progress and is looking to provide a real-time position without any errors.
6. GPS First Came in the Town in 1960
The first Implementation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) was in the year 1960. The United States Navy used Transit, which was tested successfully.
The system utilizes 10 satellites, and the receivers determine the position based on the Doppler Effect. However, modern GPS is a way different from the traditional approach. It relies on the exact timing, and the concept of atomic clocks in the satellites is used to get a perfect position.
Can GPS be Used Without an Internet connection?
Most of you would be wondering whether GPS can be used without an internet connection or not. Well, here in the section we are going to discuss it. You will be pretty shocked to know that without an internet connection, GPS works.
Anyway, maps present in the iOS or Android devices can check the location without an internet connection. Well, we will discuss the details now. The GPS inside the machine works in a couple of ways.
When there is a data connection on your phone, it uses the A-GPS or the Assisted GPS. In this case, the local Wi-Fi networks are used to determine the position. You might have observed that when you load the navigation app, you find a bigger circle that changes to a smaller circle with more precision. The bigger circle develops because it collects information from the cell tower. However, when the ring gets smaller, it gets data from the GPS satellites.
We have previously discussed that GPS can work without an internet connection. GPS service cannot work without data, but the GPS radio can play a crucial role in determining the distance when you are off-line.
However, in this case, getting the initial location will take a longer duration. Moreover, the accuracy depends on certain factors that are beyond your control. Some of the factors that determine the accuracy are terrain, the surrounding buildings etc, but the method works well.
GPS is everywhere. You can find GPS systems in your car, your smartphone, and your watch. GPS helps you get where you are going, from point A to point B. In the future, it will get even better than now.