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Visvesvaraya Technological University Belgaum

seminar report


Submitted in the partial fulfillment of requirements for the award of BACHELOR OF ENGINEERING IN ELECTRONCIS AND COMMUNICATION
Submitted by ASHISH S KANNAVAR (1DA08EC010)

Dr.Ambedkar Institute of technology,

Bangalore-56 Department of electronics and communication Engineering 2011-12

Dr.Ambedkar Institute of technology,

Bangalore-56 Department of electronics and communication Engineering


Certified that the seminar report entitled GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM is submitted by ASHISH S KANNAVAR having the USN 1DA08EC010 in partial fulfillment for the award of the degree of Bachelor Engineering in Electronics and Communication of the Visvesvaraya Technological University, Belgaum, during the year 2011-12 The Seminar report has been approved as it satisfies the academic requirements in respect of the seminar on current topics prescribed for Bachelor of Engineering degree

Signature of examiner 1) 2)

Signature of HOD


The satisfaction that accompanies the successful completion of the seminar would be complete only with the mention of the people who made it possible, whose support rewarded our effort with success. I am grateful to Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Technology for its ideals and its inspirations for having provided me with the facilities that have made this seminar a success. I express my sincere thanks to our Principal Dr. K. L. Savithramma, Head of the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering Dr. G V Jayaramaiah, Seminar Co-ordinates Mrs. G S Pushpalatha, Mr. Shivaputra, examiners Mrs. Girija.S and Mrs. B.S.SUDHA and teaching and non-teaching staff of Electronics and Communication Engineering Department, Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Technology, whose support and guidance were invaluable. Finally I would like to thank my parents and friends for all support they provided during the development of this seminar.

Global Positioning System


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Global Positioning System 1.1 INTRODUCTION:

Have u ever been lost and wished there was an easy way to find out which way u needed to go? How about finding yourself out hiking and then not knowing how to get back to your camp or car? Ever been flying and wanted to know the nearest airport? Our ancestors had to go to pretty extreme measures to keep from getting lost. They erected monumental landmarks, laboriously drafted detailed maps and learned to read the stars in the night sky. GPS is a satellite based radio navigation system which provides continuous, all weather, worldwide navigation capability for sea, land and air applications. So things are much, much easier today. For less than $100, you can get a pocket sized gadget that will tell you exactly where you are on Earth at any moment. As long as you have a GPS receiver and a clear view of the sky, you'll never be lost again. Navigation in three dimensions is the primary function of GPS. Navigation receivers are made for aircraft, ships, ground vehicles, and for hand carrying by individuals. Precise positioning is possible using GPS receivers at reference locations providing corrections and relative positioning data for remote receivers. Surveying, geodetic control, and plate tectonic studies are examples. Time and frequency dissemination, based on the precise clocks on board the SVs and controlled by the monitor stations, is another use for GPS. Astronomical observatories, telecommunications facilities, and laboratory standards can be set to precise time signals or controlled to accurate frequencies by special purpose GPS receivers.


The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellitebased navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense that continuously transmit coded information, which makes it possible to precisely identify locations on earth by measuring the distance from the satellites. The satellites transmit very low power specially coded radio signals that can be processed in a GPS receiver, enabling the receiver to compute position, velocity and time thus allowing anyone one with a GPS receiver to determine their location on earth. Four GPS satellite signals are used to compute positions in three dimensions and the time offset in the receiver clock. The system was designed so that receivers did not require atomic clocks, and so could be made small and inexpensively. The gps system consists of three pieces. There are the satellites that transmit the position information, there are the ground stations that are used to control the satellites and update the information, and finally there is the receiver that you purchased. It is the receiver that collects data from the satellites and computes its location anywhere in the world based on information it gets from the

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satellites. There is a popular misconception that a gps receiver somehow sends information to the satellites but this is not true, it only receives data.


The principle behind GPS is the measurement of distance (or "range") between the receiver and the satellites. The satellites also tell us exactly where they are in their orbits above the Earth. It works something like this-If we know our exact distance from a satellite in space, we know we are somewhere on the surface of an imaginary sphere with radius equal to the distance to the satellite radius. By measuring its distance from a second satellite, the receiver knows it is also somewhere on the surface of a second sphere with radius equal to its distance from the second satellite. Therefore, the receiver must be somewhere along a circle which is formed from the intersection of the two spheres. Measurement from a third satellite introduces a third sphere. Now there are only two points which are consistent with being at the intersection of all three spheres. One of these is usually impossible, and the GPS receivers have mathematical methods of eliminating the impossible location. Measurement from a fourth satellite now resolves the ambiguity as to which of the two points is the location of the receiver. The fourth satellite point also helps eliminate certain errors in the measured distance due to uncertainties in the GPS receiver's timing as well.

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Global System



There are basically two types of GPS positioning Single Point Positioning Relative Point Positioning Single Point Positioning is also known as autonomous or absolute positioning. In this type, the position of an unknown point is determined based on known positions of GPS satellites in space. In Relative Positioning, the position of unknown point is determined with respect to another known point (base or reference station). The term Differential Positioning (DGPS) is often used interchangeably with Relative Positioning. Infact DGPS is a specific type of relative positioning. Again in GPS positioning there are two types Static Kinematic In Kinematic differential positioning one receiver is at known station referred to as base/reference (stationery) while second receiver referred to as rover is moved over path to be positioned. Accurate positions in DGPS can be accomplished through two methods

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Real time processing requires a data link to transmit corrections from a base receiver to a rover receiver. Real time processing yields low accuracy as compared to post processing. In post processing, observed data from all the receivers is processed using special software. Thus all GPS positioning can be classified as static or kinematic, single point or relative, real time or post processing.

Real time processing Post processing


The GPS signal contains ephemeris and almanac data: Ephemeris data is constantly transmitted by each satellite and contains important information such as status of the satellite (healthy or unhealthy), current date, and time. Without this part of the message, your GPS receiver would have no idea what the current time and date are. This part of the signal is essential to determining a position, as well see in a moment. The almanac data tells the GPS receiver where each GPS satellite should be at any time throughout the day. Each satellite transmits almanac data showing the orbital information for that satellite and for every other satellite in the system.


The satellites transmit very low power signals (20- 50 watts) allowing anyone with a GPS receiver to determine their location on earth. GPS receivers passively receive satellite signals; they do not transmit. The signals travel line of sight, meaning it will pass through clouds, smoke, glass and plastic but not through solid objects like buildings and mountains. So GPS receivers require an unobstructed view of the sky, they are used only outdoors and they often do not perform well within forested areas or near tall buildings. GPS operations depend on a very accurate time reference, which is provided by atomic clocks at the U.S. Naval Observatory. Each GPS satellite has atomic clocks on board. Each satellite transmits a message which essentially says, "I'm satellite #X, my position is currently Y, and this message was sent at time Z." Dr.AIT, ECE, 2012 7

Global Positioning System

All GPS satellites synchronize operations so that these repeating signals are transmitted at the same instant. The signals, moving at the speed of light, arrive at a GPS receiver at slightly different times because some satellites are farther away than others. Your GPS receiver reads the message andsaves the ephemeris and almanac data for continual use. The distance to the GPS satellites can be determined by estimating the amount of time it takes for their signals to reach the receiver. When the satellite is generating the pseudo random code, the receiver is generating the same code and tries to match it up with the satellites code. The receiver then compares the two codes to determine how much it needs to delay (or shift) its code to match the satellites code. This gives the travel time. To determine your position the GPS receiver compares the time a signal was transmitted by a satellite with the time it was received by the GPS receiver. The time difference tells the GPS receiver how far away that particular satellite is (Range=travel time*velocity of light). Now that we have both satellite location and distance, the receiver can determine a position. If we add distance measurements from a few more satellites, we can triangulate our position. This is exactly what a GPS receiver does. Lets say we are 11000 miles from one satellite, our location is some where on an imaginary sphere that has the satellite at the center with radius 11000 miles. Then lets say we are 12000 miles from another satellite; the second sphere would intersect the first sphere to create a common circle. If we add a third satellite, at a distance of 13000 miles, we now have two common points where the three spheres intersect. With a minimum of three or more satellites, your GPS receiver can determine a latitude/longitude position what's called a 2D position fix. With four or more satellites, a GPS receiver can determine a 3D position, which includes latitude, longitude, and altitude. With this calculated position the exact location of the receiver can be pinpointed on a digitized map with the use of the proper GIS software tools. By continuously updating your position, a GPS receiver can also accurately provide speed and direction of travel (referred to as 'ground speed' and 'ground track'). The satellites, operated by the U.S. Air Force, orbit with a period of 12 hours. Ground stations are used to precisely track each satellite's orbit.


GPS elements:

Space Segment Control Segment User Segment

Space Segment:

The GPS technology is based on the NAVSTAR (NAVigation Satellite Timing And Ranging) constellation composed of 24 satellites in space, the space segment of the GPS system. There are often more than 24 operational satellites as new ones are launched to replace older satellites. The satellite orbits repeat almost the same ground track (as the earth turns beneath them) once each day. These 24 satellites Dr.AIT, ECE, 2012 8

Global Positioning System

(21 navigational satellites and 3 active spares) are in 6 circular orbits (with nominally four SVs in each), equally spaced (60 degrees apart), at an inclination angle of 55 degrees.

, , BMSCE E&CE 2010-11 9

Global Positioning System

These satellites weigh 1900 lbs in orbit, travel at speeds of about 14,000 kilometres per hour or 8700 miles per hour with a 12hr period (precisely 11hr 58 min). It is at roughly 25,000 kilometers from the earth's centre or 20,000 kms above the earth's surface. The satellites are high enough to bypass the problems encountered by land-based systems they send wireless radio signals from space.

Their configuration provides the user with between 5 and 8 space vehicles anywhere on the earth. The spacing of satellites in orbit is arranged so that under normal conditions a minimum of five satellites will be in view to users worldwide, with a position dilution of precision (PDOP) of six or less. In practice there are usually many more than this, sometimes as many as 12. The satellites are generally allowed to "float" in their orbits and aren't rigidly held in position. The orbital paths of these satellites take them between roughly 60 degrees North and 60 degrees South latitudes. What this means is you can receive satellite signals anywhere in the world, at any time. As you move closer to the poles, you will still pick up the GPS satellites. The NAVSTAR satellites can see from the northernmost and southern most parts of their orbits. These satellites provide 24-hour-a-day coverage for both two-and threedimensional positioning anywhere on Earth. They also continuously broadcast position and time throughout the world. Currently there are 27 total satellites in the sky and it is possible that there could be as many as 31 or 32. Each satellite contains a supply of fuel and small servo engines so that it can be moved in orbit to correct for positioning errors. With update control from the ground units it can maintain an essentially circular orbit around the earth. It also contains a receiver to get update information, a transmitter to send information to the gps receiver, an antenna array to magnify the weak transmitter signal, several atomic clocks to Dr.AIT, ECE, 2012 10

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accurately know the time, control hardware, and photoelectric cells to power everything. They are powered by solar energy and each satellite is expected to last approximately 10 years. If solar energy fails (eclipse, etc.) they have backup batteries on board to keep them running.

Each satellite transmits on two L band frequencies, L1 (1575.42 MHz) and L2 (1227.6 MHz). Each satellite transmits on exactly the same frequency; however, each satellites signal is doppler-shifted by the time it reaches the user. L1 carries a precise (P) code and a coarse/acquisition (C/A) code. L2 carries only the P code. A navigation data message is superimposed on these codes. The same navigation data message is carried on both frequencies. The P code is normally encrypted so that only the C/A code is available to civilian users; however, some information can be derived from the P code. When encrypted, the P code is known as Y code. The current series of GPS satellites broadcast data using two distinct signals of accuracy. The first is for the standard positioning system (SPS). The second one is for the precise positioning system (PPS). The SPS signal is at the L1 frequency, which is 1547.42MHz. The L2 frequency carries the PPS signal and is at 1227.60MHz.

There have been three distinct groups of NAVSTAR satellites so far, with one sub-group. The groups are designated as blocks. The block I satellites were intended for system testing. The block II satellites were the first fully functional satellites, including cesium atomic clocks for timing as well as the ability to implement selective availability. They also have radiation-hardened electronics, allowing for longer lifetimes in space. In addition, the block II satellite can detect certain error conditions, automatically sending a code indicating that it is out of service. Block II satellites can operate for 3.5 days between corrections from the ground. The block IIa satellites are identical to the standard block II but continue to operate for 180 days between uploads from the ground. The latest satellites, the block IIR versions, include autonomous navigation. These satellites can operate for 180 days between uploads like the block IIa. Unlike the block IIa, they can generate their own navigation information. Thus, the accuracy of the system can be maintained longer between uploads. With the modernized Block IIR and Block IIF satellites nearing launchand the GPS III program now in its planning stagesthe technology is poised to reach new levels of sophistication unimagined just a few years ago.

Each satellite has two identifying numbers. First is the NAVSTAR number, which identifies the specific satellite hardware. Second is the Space vehicle (SV) number. This number is assigned in order of launch.The third method to identify a satellite is by the Psuedo-random noise code number. This is a unique integer number, which is used to code the signal from that Satellite that would look random Dr.AIT, ECE, 2012 11

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to anyone who does not know what the formula used to create it is. Some receivers identify the satellites that they are listening to by SV, others by PRN. Control Segment: It consists of a system of tracking stations located around the world. The control segment is composed of all the ground-based facilities that are used to monitor and control the satellites. This segment is usually unseen by the user, but is a vital part of the system. The NAVSTAR control segment, called the operational control system (OCS) consists of 5 monitor stations, a master control station (MCS) and 3 uplink antennas. The satellites send down subsets of the orbital ephemeris data. The monitor stations track GPS satellites in view, collect and send information from the satellites back to the master control station that computes the precise orbits. The master station uploads the data which is necessary for proper operation of the satellite, like ephemeris and clock data to the satellites. Then the information is formatted into updated navigation messages that are transmitted through ground antennas. The MCS is located at Schriever Air Force Base (formerly Falcon AFB) in Colorado. and is managed by the U.S. Air Force's 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2nd SOPS). The MCS receives data from the monitor stations in real time 24 hours a day and uses that information to determine if the satellites are experiencing clock or ephemeris changes, and to detect equipment malfunctions. New navigation and ephemeris information is calculated from the monitored signals and uploaded to the satellites once or twice per day. There are several remote monitor stations, which send their information to the master control station. These stations are able to track and monitor each satellite for 21 hours a day, resulting in 2 periods of 1.5 hours when the satellite is on the other side of the earth out of reach for that ground station. These passive monitor stations are nothing more than GPS receivers that track all satellites in view and thus accumulate ranging data from the satellite signals. There are five passive monitor stations, located at Colorado Springs, Hawaii, Ascencion Island, Diego Garcia and Kwajalein. The monitor stations send the raw data back to the MCS for processing. The information calculated by the MCS, along with routine maintenance commands are transmitted to the satellites by ground-based uplink antennas. The ground antennas are located at Ascencion Island, Diego Garcia and Kwajalein. The antenna facilities transmit to the satellites via an S-band radio link. In addition to its main function, the MCS maintains a 24 hour computer bulletin board system with the latest system news and status. The civilian contact for this is the United States Coast Guards (USCG) Navigation Center (NAVCEN). User segment : The user segment is composed of GPS receivers composed of processors and antennas that allow for sea, land and airborne operators to receive the broadcast. The receivers convert space vehicle signals into position, velocity and time. A total of 4 satellites are required to compute these calculations. In order to

Global Positioning System

make this simple calculation, then, the GPS receiver has to know two things: The location of at least three satellites above you The distance between you and each of those satellites. The GPS receiver figures both of these things out by analyzing high-frequency, lowpower radio signals from the GPS satellites. Better units have multiple receivers, so they can pick up signals from several satellites simultaneously. Most modern receivers are parallel multi-channel design. Parallel receivers typically have five to twelve receiver circuits, each devoted to one particular satellite at all times. Parallel channels are quick to lock onto satellites when first turned on and they are able to receive the satellite signals even in difficult conditions such as dense foliage or urban settings. If you want to have continuous real-time position measurements, then the receiver has to have at least four channels. If it does, then it can devote one channel to each of the four satellites at the same time. Most of the time, this kind of accuracy is not needed, so some receivers have only one channel. Older single-channel designs were once popular, but were limited in their ability to continuously receive signals in the toughest environments. One of the problems with this type of receiver is that it doesn't always do a good job of monitoring velocity. Also, if there is any movement of the receiver while it is collecting the four measurements, the accuracy of those measurements will be affected. A compromise that is used quite often is the three channel receiver. One channel can be collecting the data from one satellite while the other two channels are locking in on the satellites where the next measurements are going to come from. This type of receiver doesn't waste time between measurements, because they can instantly switch to the next satellite's data. Another benefit to this type of receiver is that it can track up to eight satellites, so if one satellite is blocked, it can switch to another one. Thus, the three channel receiver is more economical than a four channel receiver, and it is more accurate than a one channel receiver. Position, velocity and time are needed for marine, terrestrial & aeronautic applications. A standard GPS receiver will not only place you on a map at any particular location, but will also trace your path across a map as you move. If you leave your receiver on, it can stay in constant communication with GPS satellites to see how your location is changing. With this information and its built-in clock, the receiver can give you several pieces of valuable information: How far you've traveled (odometer) How long you've been traveling Your current speed (speedometer) Your average speed A "bread crumb" trail showing you exactly where you have traveled on the map The estimated time of arrival at your destination if you maintain your current speed


GPS provides two services

SPS-Standard Positioning Service PPS-Precise Positioning Service

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SPS: The Standard Positioning Service is a positioning and timing service, which will be available to all GPS users on a continuous, worldwide basis with no direct charge. SPS will be provided on the GPS L1 frequency, which contains a coarse acquisition (C/A) code and a navigation data message. SPS provides a predictable positioning accuracy of 100 meters horizontally and 156 meters vertically and time transfer accuracy to UTC within 340 nanoseconds. The SPS accuracy is intentionally degraded by the DOD by the use of Selective Availability. PPS: The Precise Positioning Service is a highly accurate military positioning, velocity and timing service which will be available on a continuous, worldwide basis to users authorized by the U.S.P (Y) code capable military user equipment provides a predictable positioning accuracy of at least 22 meters horizontally and 27.7 meters vertically and time transfer accuracy to UTC within 200 nanoseconds. PPS will be the data transmitted on the GPS L1 and L2 frequencies. PPS was designed primarily for U.S. military use. It will be denied to unauthorized users by the use of cryptography. PPS will be made available to U.S. and Allied military and U.S. Federal Government users. Limited, non-Federal Government, civil use of PPS, both domestic and foreign, will be considered upon request and authorized on a case-bycase basis.


Geometric View: In order to understand how the GPS satellite system works, it is very helpful to understand the concept of trilateration. Let's look at an example to see how trilateration works. Let's say that you are somewhere in the United States and you are TOTALLY lost -you don't have a clue where you are. You find a friendly-looking person and ask, "Where am I?" and the person says to you, "You are 625 miles from Boise, Idaho." This is a piece of information, but it is not really that useful by itself. You could be anywhere on a circle around Boise that has a radius of 625 miles, like this: So you ask another person, and he says, "You are 690 miles away from Minneapolis, Minnesota."

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This is helpful - if you combine this information with the Boise information, you have two circles that intersect. You now know that you are at one of two points, but you don't know which one, like this: If a third person tells you that you are 615 miles from Tucson, Arizona, you can figure out which of the two points you are at:

With three known points, you can see that you are near Denver, Colorado! Trilateration is a basic geometric principle that allows you to find one location if you know its distance from other, already known locations. The geometry behind this is very easy to understand in two dimensional space. This same concept works in three dimensional space as well, but you're dealing with spheres instead of circles. You also need 4 spheres instead of three circles to find your exact location. The heart of a GPS receiver is the ability to find the receiver's distance from 4 (or more) GPS satellites. Once it determines its distance from the four satellites, the receiver can calculate its exact location and altitude on Earth! If the receiver can only find three satellites, then it can use an imaginary sphere to represent the earth and can give you location information but no altitude information. For a GPS receiver to find your location, it has to determine two things: The location of at least three satellites above you The distance between you and each of those satellites The gps receiver measures the length of time the signal takes to arrive at your location and then based on knowing that the signal moves at the speed of light it can compute the distance based on the travel time. Measuring Distance : 1.Distance to a satellite is determined by measuring how long a radio signal takes to reach us from that satellite(transit time or TDOA-Time Difference Of Arrival).

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2.To make the measurement we assume that both the satellite and our receiver are generating the same pseudo-random codes at exactly the same time. 3.By comparing how late the satellite's pseudo-random code appears compared to our receiver's code, we determine how long it took to reach us. This is the transit time. 4.Multiply that travel time by the speed of light and you've got distance. Now, armed with the satellite location and the distance from the satellite we can expect that we are somewhere on a sphere that is described by the radius (distance) and centered at the satellite location. By acquiring the same information from a second satellite we can compute a second sphere that cuts the first one at a plane. Now we know we are somewhere on the circle that is described by the intersection of the two spheres. If we acquire the same information from a third satellite we would notice that the new sphere would intersect the circle at only two points. If we know approximately where we are we can discard one of those points and we are left with our exact fix location in 3D space. Now, what would happen if we were to acquire the information from a fourth satellite? We should expect that it would show us to be at exactly the same point we just computed above. But what if it isn't? Before we can answer that question we need a little more background. A more basic question is, "How does the gps know the travel time(TDOA) so that it can compute the distance?" The satellite sends the current time along with the message so the gps can subtract its knowledge of the current time from the satellite time in the message (which is the time that the signal started its descent) and use this to compute the difference. Measuring the time would be easy if you knew exactly what time the signal left the satellite and exactly what time it arrived at your receiver, and solving this problem is key to the Global Positioning System. One way to solve the problem would be to put extremely accurate and synchronized clocks in the satellites and the receivers. The satellite begins transmitting a long digital pattern, called a pseudo-random code, as part of its signal at a certain time, let's say midnight. The receiver begins running the same digital pattern, also exactly at midnight. When the satellite's signal reaches the receiver, its transmission of the pattern will lag a bit behind the receiver's playing of the pattern. The length of the delay is equal to the time of the signal's travel. The receiver multiplies this time by the speed of light to determine how far the signal traveled. If the signal traveled in a straight line, this distance would be the distance to the satellite. The only way to implement a system like this would require a level of accuracy only found in atomic clocks. This is because the time measured in these calculations amounts to nanoseconds. To make a GPS using only synchronized clocks, you would need to have atomic clocks not only on all the satellites, but also in the receiver itself. Atomic clocks usually cost somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000, which makes them a little too expensive for everyday consumer use! The Global Positioning System has a very effective solution to this problem - a Dr.AIT, ECE, 2012 16

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GPS receiver contains no atomic clock at all. It has a normal quartz clock. The receiver looks at all the signals it is receiving and uses calculations to find both the exact time and the exact location simultaneously. Finding the Satellites: The other crucial component of GPS calculations is the knowledge of where the satellites are. This isn't difficult because the satellites travel in a very high, and predictable orbits. The satellites are far enough from the Earth (11,000 miles) that they are not affected by our atmosphere. The GPS receiver simply stores an almanac that tells it where every satellite should be at any given time. Things like the pull of the moon and the sun do change the satellites' orbits very slightly, but the Department of Defense constantly monitors their exact positions and transmits any adjustments to all GPS receivers as part of the satellites' signals.


The accuracy of a position determined with GPS depends on the type of receiver. Most hand-held GPS units have about 10-20 meter accuracy. Other types of receivers use a method called Differential GPS (DGPS) to obtain much higher accuracy. DGPS requires an additional receiver fixed at a known location nearby. Observations made by the stationary receiver are used to correct positions recorded by the roving units, producing an accuracy greater than 1 meter. When the system was created, timing errors were inserted into GPS transmissions to limit the accuracy of non-military GPS receivers to about 100 meters. This part of GPS operations, called Selective Availability, was eliminated in May 2000.


With simultaneous data received from four satellites, ones position (e.g. latitude, longitude, altitude and time) can be calculated. More the number of satellites visible, better the accuracy. Under ideal conditions, the location is precisely and accurately determined. However, under real conditions, there is always some degree of error. Despite the opportunity for error, positioning can be calculated to within a few hundred feet or less in most cases. Errors can be caused by:

Selective Availability or SA:

The degradation applied by the US DOD to the satellite signal. The SA process induces an error; however, using data from more than four satellites can mitigate that error. Nevertheless, the SA-induced error is presently a fact of life in each position calculation. Fortunately, SA will hamper very precise positioning accuracy, but not to a point where it undermines the requirements for personal navigation.

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Ionosphere and troposphere delays:

The GPS assumes that signals will be traveling between satellite and receiver is in a straight line. The signal will actually be delayed upon going through the ionosphere and troposphere.

Receiver clock errors:

Since it is not practical to have atomic clocks in the receiver, the receiver timing references will have some small error.

Multi path error :

Multipath error can produce very large deviations. Multipath is caused by satellite signals that arrive at the receiver after having bounced off some nearby structure (e.g. a tall building), or the ground. Because the path is not straight, the time delay will be longer, and the distance from the satellite will also seem to be longer (see figure 2). This can produce location errors that are unacceptable, particularly in urban automobile navigation applications.

Signal attenuation:

Non-restricted GPS signals are transmitted at 1.575 GHz, a microwave frequency. Such signals are blocked by steel and concrete structures (e.g. buildings and tunnels), and attenuated by passing through trees and leaves. The GPS specification for minimum detectable signals renders reception marginal when the signal is attenuated by foliage. Denser the foliage, more marginal the signal. As such, receivers that just meet this specification are not reliable for use in forests or even tree-lined streets. To ensure being able to detect signals in a forest, the receiver must provide sensitivity that exceeds the current standard. For example, the receiver must be able to detect signals whose power has been attenuated to a level of about 5 percent of the initial level.

Orbital errors:

Also known as ephemeris errors, these are inaccuracies in the satellitesreported position. Dr.AIT, ECE, 2012 18

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GPS in air:

GPS offers an inexpensive and reliable supplement to existing navigation techniques for aircraft. Civil aircraft typically fly from one ground beacon, or waypoint, to another. Pilots on long distance flights without GPS rely on navigational beacons located across the country. With GPS, an aircraft's computers can be programmed to fly a direct route to a destination. The savings in fuel and time can be significant. A GPS-based navigation system will increase the number of airports that are able to help a well-equipped plane to land in low visibility conditions. In the near future in the USA it will even be allowed to use GPS as the primary form of navigation.

GPS on


Everyone who has the proper equipment can use it. The user of the GPS system uses the satellite system to locate where he/she is, and with the help of a CD-rom or another large database that contains the GIS-map the car's computer is able to calculate the exact position of the car. Delivery trucks can receive GPS signals and instantly transmit their position to a central dispatcher. Police and fire departments can use GPS to dispatch their vehicles efficiently, reducing response time. GPS helps motorists find their way by showing their position and intended

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route on dashboard displays. Railroads are using GPS technology to replace older, maintenance-intensive mechanical signals.

GPS in sea:
GPS is a powerful tool that can save a ship's navigator hours of celestial observation and calculation. GPS has improved efficient routing of vessels and enhanced safety at sea by making it possible to report a precise position to rescuers when disaster strikes.

Military Uses for GPS:

With GPS, the soldiers are able to go places and maneuver in sandstormsor at night when even the troops who lived there couldnt. It is used also for troop deployment, artillery fire etc. GPS has become important for nearly all military operations and weapons systems. It is used on satellites to obtain highly accurate orbit data and to control spacecraft orientation. Picture the desert, with its wide, featureless expanses of sand. GPS receivers were carried by foot soldiers and attached to vehicles, helicopters, and aircraft instrument panels.

GPS in scientific research

GPS has made scientific field studies throughout the world more accurate and has allowed scientists to perform new types of geographic analyses. Geologists use GPS to measure expansion of volcanoes and movement along fault lines. Ecologists can use GPS to map differences in a forest canopy. Biologists can track animals using radio collars that transmit GPS data. Geographers use GPS to define spatial relationships between features of the Earth's surface. Scientists use GPS for a wide range of applications. Scientific analysis that formerly had to be conducted in a laboratory can now be done quicker and easier in the field.

Applications for your business:

By use of GPS an insurance company will be able to track down a stolen vehicle in every situation. A transport company which has GPS installed enables her drivers to take the shortest route, avoiding traffic jams, to the delivery point using GPS and GIS, thus offering better and faster service. For a transport company using boats for transport, GPS can be of excellent use to locate a ship with a specific cargo. The captain of a ship can use GPS to directly locate his ship, and also the use of a beacon to locate a drowning person is a good option for use of GPS.

Monitor Nuclear Explosions:

Nuclear explosions emit an X-ray flash lasting less than 1 microsecond. This flash can be seen by the X-ray flash detectors on several satellites. By measuring the time delay of arrival of the flash at several satellites, the location of the explosion can be determined. Several of the GPS satellites carry background Xray radiation detectors to provide an accurate record of the X-ray environment around the earth. Dr.AIT, ECE, 2012 20

Global Positioning System

Every Day Life:

During construction of the tunnel under the English Channel, British and French crews started digging from opposite ends: one from Dover, England, one from Calais, France. They relied on GPS receivers outside the tunnel to check their positions along the way and to make sure they met exactly in the middle. Otherwise, the tunnel might have been crooked. With GPS we would be able to help ships avoid icebergs by zeroing in on their position and notifying the ship of the location and possibly bypass a disaster.

Surveying and map making with GPS:

Surveying that previously required hours or even days using conventional methods can be done in minutes with GPS.

GPS for Horticulture:

In orchards, GPS is used mainly for orchard mapping or electrical mapping. The GPS system allows orchardist's to accurately keep records of chemical applications, which is extremely important where the government is concerned. It can keep track of orchard costs, record and track yields. GPS also allows for the fine-tuning of orchard management techniques for the grower.

Set Your Watch!

Because GPS includes a very accurate time reference, the system is also widely used for timekeeping. GPS receivers can display time accurate to within 150 Billionths of a second.


This remarkable system was not cheap to build. Development of the $10 billion GPS satellite navigation system was begun in the 1970s by the US Department of Defense, which continues to manage the system, to provide continuous, worldwide positioning and navigation data to US military forces around the globe. Ongoing maintenance, including the launch of replacement satellites, adds to the cost of the system. Amazingly ,GPS actually predates the introduction of the personal computer. Its designers may not have foreseen a day when we would be carrying small portable receivers, weighing less than a pound, at a price as less as $300, that would not only tell us where we are in position coordinates (latitude/longitude), but would even display our location on an electronic map along with cities, streets and more. A commercial receiver used for navigation purposes will be able to measure only the coarse pseudo range distances coded on one of the two frequencies. Such receivers are available from 1500 FF or 300 USD. On the opposite, dual frequency receivers able to measure both pseudo-range and phase data on both carrier waves cost up to 150,000 FF or 30,000 USD. There is an intermediate category of receivers which allow relatively precise positioning without being excessively costly. Those are the single frequency receivers, which measure pseudo-range and phase data on only one of the two wavelength. Acquiring data Dr.AIT, ECE, 2012 21

Global Positioning System

only on the frequency with the higher signal/noise ratio, those receivers are built with relatively cheap electronic. There are no subscription fees or set up charges to use GPS. The designers originally had military application in mind. Fortunately, an executive decree in the 1980s made GPS available for civilian use also. Now everyone gets to enjoy the benefits of GPS. The capability is almost unlimited. There are no subscription fees or set up charges to use GPS. (Well, its your tax money that paid for it)So we could just break out a GPS receiver, put the batteries in and dive right into the fun!

There will probably be a time soon when every car on the road can be equipped with a GPS receiver, including a video screen installed in the dashboard. The indash monitor will be a full-color display showing your location and a map of the roads around you. It will probably monitor your car's performance and your car phone as well. Systems as amazing as this one are already being tested on highways in the United States. Using a GPS receiver, one will be able to help ships avoid disaster by zeroing in on the position of the icebergs and notifying ship captains of their locations, perhaps averting disaster GPS is rapidly changing the way people are finding their way around the earth. Whether it is for fun, saving lives, getting there faster or whatever use you can dream of, GPS navigation is becoming more common everyday. GPS will figure in history alongside the development of the sea-going chronometer. This device enabled seafarers to plot their course to an accuracy that greatly encouraged maritime activity, and led to the migration explosion of the nineteenth century. GPS will affect mankind in the same way. There are myriad applications that will benefit us individually and collectively.

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Global Positioning System

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