With the rise of satellites, nothing stops science from making things feasible. For sure you know what GPS is and you probably are using it every day. Have you ever imagined how technology puts you and the global positioning system in sync?
GPS and How It Works
The Global Positioning System, also known as GPS, is a radio navigation device that pinpoints accurate locations. It is part of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), a network of satellites that transmits signals from space to GNSS receivers.
The coded information transmitted from the satellites is interpreted by receivers and correctly identifies locations on earth by measuring their distance from the satellites. Today, only GPS is capable of providing accurate location, navigation, and time synchronization on a global scale.
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Envision how GPS can show your exact position anytime regardless of the weather, distance, and no matter where in the world are you. This system is the solution to questions like:
“Where am I right now?
“What is my location?”
“Where am I going?”
“How can I get there?”
“When will I get there?
“Where are you?”
“How far are you from me?”
“How long will I get to you?”
The GPS system in space is comprised of 28 to 32 satellites that are positioned in their own paths about 11,000 or more nautical miles above the Earth. Each of these satellites, which are located above the equator, travels twice daily in an orbit around the globe at a speed akin to that of the earth’s rotation. When viewed from Earth, they appear to be stationary.
They send signals to a receiver (your GPS) by calculating your precise position on the planet including the exact time the signals are sent.
Generally, there are four to six satellites in view from most places of the earth. Their role is to compute intersections until they narrow results to a single point, which is your exact location. On your part as the user, a GPS receiver can be a device you hold in your hand or mounted in your car.
You and the Global Positioning System Around
The Global Positioning System has been working in making life easier and as a lifesaver itself:
1) Locating People and Pets
It is past midnight and you are wondering where your teenagers are. Having a GPS receiver installed in the car helps you track their location. Suppose you are biking uphill and you get separated from the group, GPS can help you find one another and how far you are from each other.
When you want to let family members know where you are, or you needed to keep an eye on your children, an elderly, or someone with a disability; wearable tracking, or your phone’s built-in GPS device lets you do this. Even pets can be found. This is the main application of GPS—tracking locations.
2) Navigating Time and Travel
GPS satellites give the most accurate time. It can give you the total travel time, and average speed, including how many times the bus stops. GPS can show you the right route and lets you know what time you can possibly arrive at your destination.
This allows you to determine the course or route and helps you get from one location to another. Navigating time is very helpful when you’re driving to places you have never been before like off-road areas and estuarine locations where topographic features set you away from a community or town.
When planning trips, a GPS device can also help you find camping sites, rest points, and other significant locations. A tracker is very helpful in the event that you needed to travel solo.
3) Tracking and Emergency Access
You will be saved in circumstances where you are in a remote region and want immediate assistance if you pre-program vital and emergency numbers on your smartphone. What’s best in a GPS is the system’s capacity to provide location details that allow emergency groups to trace your specific location.
Businesses use GPS to keep an eye on customers, and employees, and to collect practical real-time data for specific tasks. It’s amazing how GPS helps keep an eye on ambulances and fire trucks and alert drivers when they are driving too fast. As it determines the shifting position, a moving receiver constantly gathers data.
4) Preventing Vehicle and Asset Theft
Installing GPS as a tracking device on a car is an excellent anti-theft strategy that serves as a backup in tracing a vehicle’s location or protects it from unauthorized use.
Just like how you would label or engrave names on your equipment so it helps you recognize or recover them in case they’re stolen, you can use a low-power GPS tracking chip onto your stuff.
This includes expensive artworks and jewelry. Some of these investments are worth millions that deserve to be heavily guarded. While most of these items are protected by insurance, GPS offers an additional layer of security so they are quick to locate.
5) Mapping the World
With the advent of the global positioning system, modeling the real world has become simpler. From the smallest hill to the largest mountain through rivers, brooks, and bridges, it supports precise mapping.
Due to the lack of terrestrial reference points, surveying beaches and waterways often involves more work. However, as they move through the earth’s atmosphere, satellites send out signals that compute and determine latitudes and longitudes. Regardless of the time or the surrounding environment, GPS can triangulate the signal to produce an accurate survey.
6) Helps Enforce the Law
GPS is useful in ground-based units, so it can be used in a variety of legal systems. In order to track the travels of each unit, law enforcement agencies might install GPS locators in their cars. Authorities can track a crime’s location, track down suspects, apprehend them, and gather evidence when they attach a small GPS tracking device to a suspect’s car.
Additionally portable and useful, a GPS device helps law enforcement officers locate precise locations while on the job. The tracker gives them guidance to get where they need to go or helps them return home with little to no difficulty.
7) Mining and Finding Treasure
The adoption of GPS has improved safety and productivity in treasure hunting. Mining involves heavy equipment like trucks, drillers, and cranes, which can be managed using GPS technology. Global positioning provides information about direction, velocity, and load size.
Treasure hunters have utilized GPS for clues of hidden riches in different sites as programmed on treasure maps. GPS tracking system helps track the minerals located in the different layers of the surface of the earth.
8) Flying Planes and Helicopters
When an aircraft is in the air, it is equipped with a GPS transponder for the commanding station to keep track of its movement and route. The plane also uses the tracking device in finding its route in space. Installing a tracker is also ideal so that the flight recorder can be traced and found when missing.
A satellite-based aircraft tracking will revolutionize flying being the newly operational space-based technology that transports the transmission of data from flight identification, position, altitude, vertical rate of climb or descent, track, and speed.
9) Hunting and Fishing
You can’t believe how a tracking device can assist you in finding the most direct routes and spots for hunting and fishing. The next big thing is you can record various locations making it easy to mark new signs and exact spots on the map. That allows you to return to the same exact place anytime all throughout your hunting days.
A handheld GPS for fishing is a lot more convenient to use. You can load the maps to find fishing sites, check your signal, and mark your launch site.
10) Wearable Technology
Wearable technology is an electronic device that you can wear to avail of practical life solutions. These instruments are designed for hands-free use. GPS shoes, for example, work by assisting you on which side to go – should you turn right or left way?
Perhaps you’re already using eyeglasses that let you access your mobile internet browser with a simple tap. Wow! Health-monitoring devices, voice-controlled watches, selfie-photo jewelry, and pendants that track pregnancy; all are examples of wearable technology.
Watch this video that explains how GPS works.
LET’S SIMPLIFY GPS AND HOW IT AFFECTS YOU
The three components that makeup GPS are satellites, ground stations, and receivers. While ground stations operate as radars to track the satellites’ precise location in space, satellites seem like the stars you enjoy in a cool night sky. A receiver is your phone or any tracking device that constantly listens for a signal from these satellites.
The changes in the way you connect with those around you, the accessibility that GPS has delivered your family, and the feeling of security that all these advances are giving you – are the effects of the Global Positioning System (GPS) to you.
Although there are undoubtedly additional applications for GPS besides those I’ve mentioned above, being close to the people and things you need most every day and, of course, having your favorite pasta delivered right at your door.
Do you have interesting thoughts about GPS and how they help make your life easier? Share them with us in the comments.