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Global Positioning System Essay

4789 words - 20 pages

GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM (GPS)

ABSTRACT :
Modern technology offers us an affordable mechanism called “GPS” which can help us find our way in situations like lost in a completely unknown place, hiking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, mountain -biking, fishing, cross-country skiing, ORV expeditions, hunting and many others. GPS tells us exactly where we are on the planet at any time. It can do this with precisions ranging from exact precision to points within a 40-foot range. These variations dep end on the model and type of the GPS receiver you have. GPS is a worldwide radio-navigation system formed from a constellation of 24 satellites and their ground stations. GPS uses these satellites as ...view middle of the document...

Today anyone can use it, and use it you should. Basically, GPS is a worldwide radio-navigation system formed from a constellation of 24 satellites and their ground stations. As shown in figure, linking 24 satellites makes GPS work.

Fig.1 Constellation of 24 Satellites So how does someone “buy” a GPS? Usually when someone refers to their “GPS” what they are really talking about is a GPS receiver. GPS receivers are small devices that, as the name implies, receive signals from the GPS network of satellites and provide location and other data. Through a process call Triangulation, they are able to determine the exact location by locking onto the positions of 4 (or more) satellites.

CITC (CE DEPT.)

2

GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM (GPS)

The satellites broadcast their positions and the GPS receivers pick their signal and then make the necessary calculations. Sometimes, you will hear the term GPSr (GPS Receiver), but in most cases, it’s just GPS . If you want to know exactly where you are at any time (within an acceptable range of a few feet), a GPS receiver is your tool. GPS can do other things as well. Most GPS systems have a built-in Trip Odometer for instance. Other common features are Sunrise / Moonrise time tables, Altimeters, and Ma p features. Combined with a transmitting device, GPS can also perform locator services. So you can see that GPS is more than a toy; if it matters at all where you are, where you are going, or even where you have been, GPS is your tool. A typical handheld GPS receiver is slightly larger than a standard cellular phone. Like this model (below), GPS receivers are designed to fit in your hand as well as a pocket or purse. They can be taken anywhere.

Fig.2 GPS receivers CITC (CE DEPT.) 3

GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM (GPS)

2.0 FUNCTIONALITY :
The entire GPS system actually consists of 3 “segments”. The first and most important is the Space Segment. That segment consists o f the 24 earth-orbiting satellites. The second segment, the Control Segment, consists of 5 ground based stations. As the name implies, they control and monitor the satellite network. The Control Segment is in continuous contact with th e satellites and can send them corrective signals when they stray off course. They also keep the satellite’s almanac data updated. In using the GPS system, you will probably never come in contact with a control station, but they are an integral part of the whole system. The third segment is the User Segment. This consists of me, you, and anyone else who uses the system (along with our GPS units of course).

2.1 Here’s how GPS works in five logical steps :
1) The basis of GPS is triangulation from satellites. 2) To “triangulate,” a GPS receiver measures distance using the travel time of radio signals. 3) To measure travel time, GPS needs very accurate timing which it achieves with some tricks. 4) Along with distance, you need to know exactly where the satellites are in space. High orbits and careful...

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