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Topic: GPS and its Functions
Introduction to GPS
GPS is a system for navigation. It was contemplated in
the 60’s, tested in the 70’s and a series of satellites were
launched around !"!#!!$. Initially, they were
defense devices developed %y the &S government. It
was then opened up for civilian use since !!$. GPS
generates a%out 00,000 'o%s in a multi#%illion#dollars
industry. (here are )* satellites revolving around the
+arth, each at a height ),000 miles a%ove the +arth
surface. (hey are used to locate positions on +arth
mainly and the accuracy is within a few hundred feet.
Applications of GPS
,y the use of GPS, you can identify your geographic position -longitude and latitude.,
altitude, velocity and direction of travel. GPS has various applications on land, at sea and in
GPS can %e used in
• aviation navigation
• marine navigation
• car navigation
• recreation e.g. hi/ing
• emergency response e.g. am%ulance and fire
The 3 segments of GPS
GPS consists of $ segments. (hey are0
. (he space segment -the satellites.
). (he control segment -the ground stations.
$. (he user segment -the user and the GPS receiver.
(he space segment consists of at least )* satellites -) satellites plus $ spares.. (he satellites
are at a%out ),000 miles a%ove the +arth’s surface. (he satellites circle the +arth once every
) hours. (he satellites transmit radio signals continuously to %roadcast its changing position
(he control segment consists of ground stations that monitor and control the satellites.
(he user segment consists of the user and the GPS receiver. (he GPS receiver measures the
signals from the satellites and identify the user’s position.
How does GPS operate
(he satellites are spaced so that from any point on +arth, at least four satellites will %e a%ove
the hori1on. +ach satellite continually transmits radio signals and %roadcasts its position and
GPS uses satellites in space as reference points to locate the positions on the +arth. (he GPS
receiver measures our distance from the satellites %y measuring the travel time of the radio
signals. (he distance from the satellite to the GPS receiver is e2ual to the travel time from
the satellite to GPS receiver multiplied %y the speed of light. (hat is,
3istance 4 (ravel time 5 Speed of light
太 空 部 份
6n the ground, any GPS receiver that contains a computer can locate its own position on the
+arth %y measuring accurately the distance from three satellites. (he result is provided in the
form of a geographic position 7 longitude and latitude.
If a fourth satellite can %e received, the receiver8computer can figure out the altitude as well
as the geographic position.
Limitations of GPS
GPS cannot %e used in places where the signal from the satellite cannot %e received e.g. in
caves, inside a %uilding, underground locations, underwater etc. ,esides, the GPS receivers
have potential position errors.
How GPS was inented
In the early )0th century several radio#%ased navigation systems were developed, which were
used widely during :orld :ar II. ,oth navy ships and airplanes used ground#%ased radio#
6ne of the draw%ac/s of using radio waves generated on the ground is that you must choose
%etween a system that is very accurate %ut doesn;t cover a wide area, or one that covers a
wide area %ut is not very accurate. <igh#fre2uency radio waves can provide accurate position
location %ut can only %e pic/ed up in a small, locali1ed area. =ower fre2uency radio waves
can cover a larger area, %ut cannot provide accurate position location.
Scientists, therefore, decided that
the only way to provide coverage
for the entire world was to place
high#fre2uency radio transmitters
in space. > transmitter high a%ove
the +arth sending a high#fre2uency
radio wave can cover a large area.
(his is one of the main principles
%ehind the GPS system. (he first
GPS satellite was launched in
!7". (he first 0 satellites were
developmental satellites, called
,loc/ I. ?rom !"! to !!$, )$
production satellites, called ,loc/
II, were launched. (he launch of
the )*th satellite in !!*
completed the system.
How could GPS use in naigating o!"ects#
$hat is Naigation#
@avigation is the act of determining the course of movement. (his movement could %e for a
plane, ship, automo%ile, person on foot, or any other similar means. (he main purpose of
navigation is to %e a%le to get from one place to another place without getting loss.
Since prehistoric times, people have %een using different ways to tell where they are, to help
guide them to where they are going, and to get them %ac/ home again. Aavemen pro%a%ly
used stones and twigs to mar/ a trail when they set out hunting for food. (he earliest
mariners followed the coast closely to /eep from getting lost. :hen navigators first sailed
into the open ocean, they discovered they could chart their course %y following the stars.
How could GPS use in naigating o!"ects#
GPS receivers ta/e signal information and calculate the user;s e5act location. @ow, the
receiver can determine the user;s position and display it on the unit;s electronic map. Bour
current location can %e viewed in the GPS in the form of coordinates -latitude, longitude and
altitude.. If you are moving, your receiver may also %e a%le to calculate your speed and
direction of travel and give you estimated the distance to destinations and times of arrival to
specified destinations. ,esides, the locations and the route traveled can also %e recorded.
GPS Applications in the %ilitar& Field' Standard Positioning S&stem and Precise
GPS Applications in %ilitar& Field
(here are )* satellites revolving around
the +arth up to now and all of them are
owned %y the &S government. It was
restricted for the military use
preliminary. Cilitary GPS user
e2uipment can %e integrated into
fighters, %om%ers, helicopters, navy
ships, su%marines, tan/s, 'eeps, and
soldiers’ e2uipment for navigation.
,esides, military applications of GPS
include target designation, rende1vous.
:ith the technological advancement, its
accuracy had %een improved greatly.
GPS was then %eing divided into two
categories, namely Precise Positioning
Service -PPS. and Standard Positioning
Precise Positioning S&stem (PPS)
>uthori1ed users with cryptographic e2uipment and /eys and specially e2uipped receivers
use the PPS. &. S. and >llied military, certain &. S. Government agencies, and selected civil
users specifically approved %y the &. S. Government, can use the PPS. (he accuracy of PPS
is as follows0
<ori1ontal accuracy0 )) m
Dertical accuracy0 )7.7 m
(ime accuracy0 )00 nanoseconds
Standard Positioning S&stem (SPS)
Aivil users use the SPS without charge or restrictions. (he accuracy of SPS is intentionally
degraded %y the &. S. 3epartment of 3efense. (he accuracy of SPS is as follows0
<ori1ontal accuracy0 00 m
Dertical accuracy0 E6 m
(ime accuracy0 $*0 nanoseconds