What is GPS or Global Positioning System? - Explained

What is GPS or Global Positioning System? - Explained


Navigation is extremely critical component for industries across the world. Lot of industries, individuals, governments and military and defense entities are depending on navigation from the early ages of human habitats. 

Early kingdoms used maps to find the exact path to get to a certain place. Maps which are drawn on papers or canvas clothes do have landmarks marked in the map to identify the place where the person or the team exactly at.

Maps with landmarks were used by the war troops from the ancient times and individuals to reach to different places guided by the landmarks and star patterns.

1. What is GPS?

With the time and with all the advancements in the technology, the GPS is born. GPS stands for Global Positioning System. Global Positioning System is a founded by the Unites States of America's Air Force Space Command as a Military supporting tool. Afterward only it has been exposed to the civilians to access GPS.

There are multiple services which were based on GPS back in the time which includes guided missile based on GPS coordinates. 

2. Technology

GPS or Global Positioning System operated by using the satellite signals to locate the exact ground location of where the GPS receiver is at. Artificial Satellites transmits electromagnetic waves broadcasting the geographical coordinates which means longitudes and latitudes based on the orbit where the satellite is at.

To measure GPS position accurately needs four or more satellites to calculate the exact position of a geographical location. There are 31 satellites in the earth's orbit and another 2 satellites away from earth's orbit to transmit GPS signals to the earth's surface.

The GPS receives which are on the ground captures the GPS signals which transmitted by the GPS satellites and calculates the coordinates of the earth accurately.


3. Usage of GPS

GPS is classified as a radio navigation tool where it can be used in many real life applications.

3.1 Navigation

Radio navigation is used by almost all the people who does have a car or a smart phone to go places that we have not visited before. By using the radio navigation or GPS, it's easy to find places close by and distance to the exact location by using other sub services like Google Maps and Other Map services.

Radio Navigation helps to avoid traffic or to go through the minimal amount of traffic which will help the people to save more on the fuel expenses and etc...

Apart from the smart phones and tablet PCs, there are many cars does have inbuilt navigation based on GPS.

3.2 Military & Defense

GPS is invented to the need of military and defense. To use as a more accurate military activities and to capture more accurate details of opposite party and to defense civilians from military attacks GPS is widely used by USA.

There are missiles that uses GPS to get the accurate attack point fed by longitudes and latitudes to a promising target execution. GPS guided missiles are used in global war zones in multiple applications to get down accurate targets.

3.3 DIY

The DIY projects and the IoT projects that develops by various people in the world uses GPS as a tool to identify the locations and to the project that they have deployed in remote areas like deserts and etc...

Large scaled agriculture uses GPS to navigate between the farms and to analyze the data in farms. Mostly these are done by using UAV or un-manned Arial Vehicles guided by GPS signals.

3.4 Marine

Marine ships used star patterns to navigate in-between destination to be in the correct place and to get the destination by the shortest sailing time in sea. By allowing the GPS to use commercially, marine cargo ships and many more types of marine services started using GPS signals to navigate.