Global Positioning System (GPS)

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Global Positioning System or commonly know as GPS is a navigation system based on satellites that provide location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or near the surface of the earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight. Anyone can access it freely if they have a GPS receiver.

The system consists of 24 satellites controlled by the US government that orbit lies 11,000 nautical miles above the earth’s surface and continuously sends signals to the ground station.

Working Principle Of Global Positioning System (GPS)

GPS uses the trigonometric approach to calculate the position. So, each satellite is equipped with very accurate atomic work. GPS receiver uses messages received to determine the time of signals transmitted and compute the distance to each satellite using waves. The time difference for the waves to transmit tells GPS receiver how far away the satellite is.

Components Of Global Positioning System (GPS)

Components Of Global Positioning System (GPS)
Pic Source: Wikimedia
    • The space segment consists of a constellation of 24 satellites.
    • Every user is able to access at least six or more satellites orbiting the space.
    • It generally resembles a GPS receiver.
    • A GPS receiver consists of an antenna and amplifier, radio signal microprocessor, control, and display data device and data recording unit.
    • The GPS receiver decodes the radio signal from the satellite, calculates the distance from satellite and compares its latitude longitude elevation and time.
    • These are the tracking stations which control GPS satellite by tracking them and provide them with corrected orbital and time information.
    • Each control center consists of a computer center and data injection center.
    • There are 5 control station and a major station around the world.
    • US department of defense has the sole authority for construction, maintenance and monitoring of other satellites.

Use Of Global Positioning System (GPS)

  1. Surveying and mapping purposes
  2. To locate the site of accidents
  3. For digital photogrammetry
  4. Navigation purpose
  5. Remote sensing and GIS
  6. For military purpose
  7. For clock synchronization
  8. Automobile navigation and fleet location
  9. For navigation of aviation and marine

In the field of civil engineering Global Positioning System (GPS) is widely used for surveying purpose.

Also Read: Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM)

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