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Global Positioning System (G.P.S)

GPS Why GPS GPS Receiver GPS Broadcast signals How GPS Works Measuring distance Applications Differential GPS Difference between GPS and DGPS


The Global Positioning System (GPS) is the only fully functional Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). Utilizing a constellation of at least 24 Medium Earth Orbit satellites that transmit precise microwave signals, the system enables a GPS receiver to determine its location, speed, direction, and time GPS has become a widely used aid to navigation worldwide, and a useful tool for map-making, land surveying, commerce, scientific uses, and hobbies such as geocaching.

GPS also provides a precise time reference used in many applications including scientific study of earthquakes, and synchronization of telecommunications networks Meteorologists use it for weather forecasting and global climate studies; and geologists can use it as a highly accurate method of surveying and in earthquake studies to measure tectonic motions during and in between earthquakes.


Trying to figure out where you are and where you are going is probably one of man¶s oldest pastimes. Over the years all kinds of technologies have tried to simplify the task but everyone has had some disadvantage Finally, the U.S. Department of Defense decided that the military had to have a super precise form of worldwide positioning The result is the Global Positioning System, a system that¶s changed navigation forever


GPS receivers come in a variety of formats, from devices integrated into cars, phones, and watches, to dedicated devices such as those shown here from manufacturers Trimble, Garmin and Leica (left to right).

Displays of Latitude/Longitude, boat speed and heading average speed, average bearing, passed time, distance/bearing to way point, cross track error, course deviation.


Each GPS satellite continuously broadcasts a Navigation Message at 50 bit/s

The messages are sent in frames, each taking 30 seconds to transmit 1500 bits.

Each satellite transmits its navigation message with at least two distinct spread spectrum codes: the Coarse / Acquisition (C/A) code, which is freely available to the public, and the Precise (P) code, which is usually encrypted and reserved for military applications

Frequencies used by GPS include:
L1 (1575.42 MHz): Mix of Navigation Message, coarse-acquisition (C/A) code and encrypted precision P(Y) code, plus the new L1C on future Block III satellites. L2 (1227.60 MHz): P(Y) code, plus the new L2C code on the Block IIR-M and newer satellites. L3 (1381.05 MHz): Used by the Nuclear Detonation (NUDET) Detection System Payload (NDS) to signal detection of nuclear detonations and other high-energy infrared events. Used to enforce nuclear test ban treaties. L4 (1379.913 MHz): Being studied for additional ionospheric correction. L5 (1176.45 MHz): Proposed for use as a civilian safety-of-life (SoL) signal (see GPS modernization). This frequency falls into an internationally protected range for aeronautical navigation, promising little or no interference under all circumstances. The first Block IIF satellite that would provide this signal is set.


Here¶s how GPS works in five logical steps: The basis of GPS is ³triangulation´ from satellites. To ³triangulate´, a GPS receiver measures distance using the travel time of radio signals. To measure travel time, GPS needs very accurate timing which it achieves with some tricks. Along with distance, you need to know exactly where the satellites are in space. High orbits and careful monitoring are the secret. Finally you must correct for any delays the signal experiences as it travels through the atmosphere.


Velocity (60 mph) x Time (2 hours) = Distance (120 miles) In the case of GPS we're measuring a radio signal so the velocity is going to be the speed of light or roughly 186,000 miles per second.

Selective Availability 

Satellite geometry 

Multipath effect 

Atmospheric effects 

Satellite Orbits


Geo positioning satellites in the present era has been implementing in many fields. The applications of these GPS systems are very vast and some of the applications of this GPS system are as follows: Military applications. Surveying. Geocaching. GPS usage by aircraft passengers Precise time reference. Geo Physics and Geology.


Navigation Target tracking Missile and projectile guidance Search and Rescue Reconnaissance and Map Creation The GPS satellites also carry a set of nuclear detonation detectors consisting of an optical sensor (Y-sensor), an X-ray sensor, a dosimeter, and an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) sensor (W-sensor) which form a major portion of the United States Nuclear Detonation Detection System.

The accuracy of GPS measurements can be increased considerably by using differential GPS(DGPS) techniques. 

Differential GPS estimates the error in reference measurements and broadcast these corrections to improve navigational accuracy.


The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a navigation and precise-positioning tool. Developed by the Department of Defense in 1973. A Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) is a system designed to improve the accuracy of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) by measuring extremely small changes in variables to provide satellite positioning corrections GPS uses satellite technology to enable a terrestrial terminal to determine its position on the Earth in latitude and longitude. DPGS uses global satellite positioning to the measurements of navigation satellite signals.


GPS is a universal system basically for positioning that has a large domain of applications ranging from Identification of certain landform, to Traffic control and law enforcement. This system comprising 24 GPS satellites which revolve around the earth which are tracked by ground stations located all around the earth. The future of GPS is a brighter one that has no limits and horizons; it begins with construction, mapping, surveying, remote sensing etc. Tracking of an object using GPS involves a set of steps: A GPS receiver's job is to locate four or more of these satellites, figure out the distance to each, and use this information to deduce its own location. This operation is based on a simple mathematical principle called trilateration.

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