GPS means Global Positioning System. Is a satellite navigational system which indicates that the system can be used everywhere on Earth, on land, at sea and in the air. GPS system consists of a worldwide radio-navigation system formed from the a constellation of 27 Earth-orbiting satellites (24 in operation and three extras in case one fails) and their ground stations in which each satellite transmits signals which can be received by GPS receivers to determine speed, exact location and direction. It is maintained by the United States government and is freely accessible by anyone with a GPS receiver.
The GPS project was developed in 1973 by the U.S. Department of Defense (USDOD) and was originally run with 24 satellites. It became fully operational in 1994.
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A GPS receiver locates three 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.
How position location Works
A GPS tracking system uses the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) network. This network incorporates a range of satellites that use microwave signals that are transmitted to GPS devices to give information on location, speed, time and direction. Global Positioning System tracking is a method of working out exactly where something is. It could be human, vehicle, animal mobile device or anything. In order for GPS tracing to work, it requires both GPS access and a GPS receiver (GPS receivers are able to receive radio signals transmitted by GPS satellites). When the satellite transmissions are received by the GPS receivers, information such as location can be calculated. These GPS receivers not only track the exact location but can also compute velocity and time.
GPS receivers need to receive transmissions from at least 3 or more satellites to calculate position effectively. It can measure the time delays between transmissions and reception of each of the satellites GPS signal.
GPS Application areas
The GPS system was developed to meet military needs, but new ways to use its capabilities in everyday life are continually being found. Some of the applications of GPS system areas are listed below to give a little idea on the current use of this system.
Military application of GPS
GPS has become important for nearly all military operations and weapons systems. GPS receivers are now being used in several aircraft, including F-16 fighters, KC-135 aerial tankers, and B-52 bombers. Navy ships used them for their operations too. It is also used on satellites to obtain highly accurate orbit data and to control spacecraft orientation.
Search and Rescue Operations
Lost hikers and adventurers can be found if they have a cell phone or GPS system that still powers up.
Most courier services apply GPS tracking system to monitor delivery of goods to customer. Likewise transportation system applies GPS for monitoring their transport system. A company monitoring its planes, trains or automobiles can see if a vehicle has been delayed and suggest a faster route. It can at least lessen delays if such cannot be avoided.
Recovery of Stolen Property
Security operatives can determine the exact location of the stolen vehicle or any device equipped with GPS tracking device and can be recovered easily.
For an embedded system expert, embedding GPS feature is becoming imperative every day and to this regard, embedding GPS receiver and its applications is an option which must be in embedded expert’s toolbox. There will be an exposition to the current GPS receivers available for embedded systems in the next blog even where to buy them in Nigeria.