GPS is an abbreviation for Global Positioning System. This technology becomes feasible using group of satellites orbiting around the earth. With its constellation, it is capable of transmitting accurate signals which enabled GPS receivers on ground to process and display the current location of users. As a matter of fact, there are many transport Euro and other companies worldwide that are taking advantage of GPS today.
How does it Work?
By means of receiving satellite signals, it allows the receivers to use trilateration in pinpointing its exact location.
By integrating powerful computing capability as well as memory like points of interests, topographic information and road maps, GPS devices can convert speed, time and location data into valuable display format.
Initially, it was the US DOD or Department of Defense that introduced GPS, mainly for military application. Since the early 1980s, the system has been put into use. But it was until a decade later before civilians have had a hold on the technology. Consumer GPS from that time forward quickly became a multibillion dollar industry. From that point onwards, there are tons of services, products and internet-based utilities applied to the first iteration of the technology.
Shocking GPS Facts
Despite the fact that GPS is widely used today, its workings are still a mystery. Regardless, here are interesting facts that may shock you for using GPS.
- Military GPS is using 2 frequencies while consumer GPS only has one. The former significantly improves accuracy. While dual-frequency GPS systems are also accessible to civilians, its size and cost makes them impractical.
- US government is devoted to continuously improve the technology and has put billions of dollars in R&D.
- It is actually the US taxpayers who are funding world’s GPS services. In fact, 900 million dollars was allocated in 2017 budget.
- As of year 2017, there are 24 GPS satellites that are orbiting the earth.
Not Everything is Perfect
It is undeniable that GPS devices are vital in today’s life. It offers enormous convenience and great service that many of us are taking for granted. On the other hand, no matter how advanced such tech is, let us face the fact that it still has some downfalls like the following:
- It could not get reception when in dense forest, skyscrapers, bridges, walls or canyon walls which may make the navigation inaccurate or difficult.
- The device might not work as expected when in underground spaces.
- Radio interference, solar storms and satellite maintenance might result to coverage gaps.