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GPS - Overview
The term, “GPS” stands for Global Positioning System and is a way for your position to be tracked anywhere on the planet. Orbiting at 11,000 nautical miles above the Earth’s surface are 24 GPS satellites today. These satellites work to monitor stations on the ground at all times. The way GPS works is that signals are transmitted and then detected by a GPS receiving. The individual or company using these receivers is then able to determine location with high precision.

It takes one GPS satellite 12 hours to orbit the Earth. These satellites are each equipped with a clock so broadcast signals can be sent with precision and the ground units then receive these signals (traveling the speed of light). This GPS has the ability to tell you your location anywhere on or above Earth within 300 feet. If the receiver has a fixed location, that accuracy is narrowed down to three feet.

Of all the new technological breakthroughs in history, this is by far the most exciting and the one that offers tremendous value in many different realms. After all, GPS can be used for boats, cars, businesses that need to monitor employees, trains, planes, and anything that moves. GPS Block I was the very first GPS satellite launched back in 1978. Within the next 10 years, nine additionally satellites were launched. These satellites are what allow people to find their way back from remote places or to track where they have been.

For instance, if you were a scientist who traveled to the depths of foreign countries, you would have tremendous benefit of using the GPS. For many months, you and your team have trekked deep into the forest when you come upon the most amazing find possible. With GPS, not only can you determine the location of this find but you can also use the system to bring you out of the forest and back home again.

The same would be true if your studies took you to the North Pole. Here, you study icebergs that are massive in size. Because many of these icebergs are hidden beneath the water’s surface, the ships that come through those waters are in danger of crashing. However, if a GPS receiver is used, you have the ability to send a message to the ships traveling the waters, giving them precise information as to the location of the icebergs so they can change direction and avoid a tragedy.

This is exactly what GPS does. In addition, GPS is also available on a much smaller scale. There are cars on the road today that have the GPS tracking system. Should that car be in an accident and roll off the road where it cannot be seen, the GPS can send a signal and send help. These in-dash systems feature a full color display that shows you your exact location as well as a map of the region around you. Many of these systems will also monitor your cell phone can the performance of your car. For businesses, the GPS system can show them if an employee is using the company vehicle to make personal trips during the day, how far, and to where. Knowing this can save the company thousands of dollars every year.

Keep in mind that the GPS has three components – space segment, user segment, and control segment. The space is as mentioned, the 24 satellites floating about in space. The user is the receivers that are mounted in your car or handheld, and the control is what controls the ground stations. Together, they work to ensure the GPS works appropriately.

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