How GPS Navigation System Works

In the civilian market, Global Positioning System navigation is used most often for turn-by-turn navigation devices, which, as they’ve matured, have plummeted in price and increased in features. Now, the technology even works as a smartphone application. Other uses of GPS include marine and aviation navigation systems, Internet network timekeeping, and monitoring the time and position of delivery trucks, pet collars and even children.

How GPS Works

The GPS system consists of 24 satellites in an orbiting constellation around the earth, with four in-orbit spares, as of October 2012. The U.S. Air Force launches replacement satellites on a regular basis every 2 to 3 years, replacing the oldest ones currently in service to keep features updates. Each satellite broadcasts a constant signal that includes a time stamp derived from an on-board clock, and the satellite’s orbital information.

A ground-based receiver tries to “spot” four or more satellites at once to get a positional fix, treating each signal as the radius of a sphere – four overlapping spheres will have a unique intersection point, which is converted into a latitude, longitude and altitude.

Accuracy of GPS Positions

In the United States, GPS receivers are good for positional fixes down to around ten yards on the horizontal plane, and anywhere from fifteen to twenty yards in altitude. Military GPS receivers also use a ground based triangulation point that also broadcasts a signal, and, within the map coordinates selected, are accurate down to a foot or less.

Prior to 2000, civilian GPS systems had integrated timing errors limiting precision to around 150 meters on the ground. Current regulations by the US Department of Commerce prevent GPS receivers from reporting altitudes in excess of 60,000 feet — airliners travel at 35,000 feet — and positions and speeds greater than 999 miles per hour.

GPS Devices and Mapping Software

What most people think of when they hear the term GPS is actually an integrated GPS device and map display. Map displays show cartographic data with terrain features, street names and distances between intersections. In concert, a combined GPS and Geographical Information System can show where your vehicle is on a street map.

Because street maps and addresses change regularly, maps need to be updated frequently; most mapping software is switching to a subscription model where updated maps are rolled out at a regular basis as long as the annual fee is paid.

Other GPS Navigation Tools

GPS coordinate fixes and charting software is used for civilian and military marine navigation. Similar to land maps, these have maps of the depths of various bodies of water, and integrate tidal patterns. Higher end models overlay weather information on top of the marine chart.

GPS mapping software is also available as a smartphone mapping application; while the screen of a typical smartphone isn’t ideal for using in a car — at least not without a phone dashboard mount — they can be quite handy for pedestrians, or people hiking in the woods. There are also dedicated hand-held GPS systems that don’t have integrated map displays – they just provide GPS coordinates, and are used for land orienteering and hiking.

How Many Problems With Letter of the Week in Preschool

As the pressure to pass standardized tests increases, even preschools are spending more time on strictly academic subjects. Instead of a general introduction to the alphabet, many preschools include a ...
Read More

How Teaching Preschool Age Children Requires Training

Just because your little learner's lead teacher makes it look easy, doesn't mean that acting as an early childhood educator is simple. Teaching preschool age children requires highly specialized training ...
Read More

How to Find Pros and Cons of Child to Kindergarten

The best time to send your child off to school depends largely on whom you ask. Proponents of starting kindergarten as early as possible believe it gives a child a ...
Read More

How Prayer is a Common Activity in Christian Toddler Home

Your little one may face a culture shock in daycare if your Christian values prevent him from doing things that are common in many daycare centers. That does not mean ...
Read More

How to Find the Care taking Adaptive Sibling Issues

In the world of foster care and adoption, when it comes to siblings, keeping them together is always the first choice. Even though in your mind, you see yourselves all ...
Read More

How Preschoolers Suffer From These Oral Health Problems

Most parents adore that toothless gummy grin, but whether you like it or not, teeth begin to surface as your baby turns around 6 months old and his first milk ...
Read More

How to Upload Photos From Folders to the Apple iPod

You can use the camera on your iPod Touch to take VGA-quality photos and store them on the device, but you can also transfer high-quality photos from your computer to ...
Read More

How to Make Programs for Toddlers to Improve Maths Skills

Because it's not enough that your preschooler or kindergartner can build an amazing sand castle and (almost) tie her own shoes -- now you have to worry about her math ...
Read More

How To Arrange Programs to Help Toddlers Learn Better

While an early educational program might not ensure that your preschooler is Harvard bound, it can help her to learn better. Whether you are looking to build on a specific ...
Read More

How USB wireless keyboards from as far as 40 feet away

In the beginning of the PC revolution, when monitors where often 12 to 14 inches in size, using your keyboard directly in front of the screen was not an option; ...
Read More

How to Share Pros and Cons of Toddler Discipline

Instilling self-control by establishing and sticking with rules is the name of the game when it comes to reigning in misbehaving toddlers and preschoolers. Self-control -- something many adults could ...
Read More

How to Prepare Protein Dip Recipe for Toddlers

As the mom of a toddler or preschooler, you are probably well acquainted with the magic of dipping. There's just something about dunking her meal that can get even the ...
Read More

How Potty Training is Part of Toddler Physical Development

Potty training is a normal part of every child's physical and emotional development, but not every child develops at the same pace. If your child is resistant to potty training ...
Read More

How to Make Psychological Effects of Parental Death

The grief that accompanies parental death can trigger psychological side effects for your child. If these psychological effects are long term or if they interfere with your child’s emotional or ...
Read More

How to Create Psychological Connections Between Toddler

According to the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, 80 percent of children living in the United States have at least one sibling. Many children have more than one sibling, and ...
Read More

How to Share Preschool Children’s Intellectual Abilities

There are a number of psychological tests used to measure intellectual ability in children, but there are a limited number that are available for preschool-aged children. Although measurement of skills ...
Read More

How to Explore the Punishments for a Toddler

Toddlers are curious by nature. Young children in the toddler stage are discovering their independence and are interested in exploring the world around them. However, their exploration can lead to ...
Read More

How to Search Public Parks for Children’s Parties

You don't have to break the bank to throw your little one a top-notch bash. Free or low-cost places such as public parks are creative alternatives to the more pricey ...
Read More

How to Make Puppy Cupcakes for a Toddler Birthday

If you're looking for a fun activity for you and your preschooler, (and an unforgettable party treat) these puppy cupcakes are sure to please. If you want to get creative ...
Read More

How to Share Sensory Engagement Activities Toddler

Sensory play activities are enjoyable and educational for your toddler or preschooler. You're encouraged to join in the fun but expect to get your hands messy! Any pastime that stimulates ...
Read More