Licchavi Lyceum


Licchavi Lyceum

What is Global Positioning System (G.P.S.) ?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system that allows users to determine their precise geographic location and track their position anywhere on Earth. It was developed and is operated by the United States government, primarily for military and civilian use. GPS has become an indispensable tool in various applications, including navigation, surveying, mapping, transportation, and outdoor activities.

Key features and components of the GPS system include:

  1. Satellites: GPS relies on a constellation of at least 24 satellites orbiting the Earth. These satellites continuously broadcast signals that are received by GPS receivers on the ground.
  2. GPS Receivers: GPS receivers are portable devices or integrated systems found in smartphones, vehicles, aircraft, and other equipment. They receive signals from multiple GPS satellites and use the information to calculate the receiver’s precise location, velocity, and time.
  3. Trilateration: GPS receivers use a process called trilateration to determine their position. By measuring the time it takes for signals from at least four GPS satellites to reach the receiver, the receiver can calculate its distance from each satellite. By combining these distances, it can pinpoint its location on Earth’s surface.
  4. Accuracy: GPS can provide highly accurate position information, typically within a few meters for civilian users and even more precise for military and specialized applications. The accuracy can be affected by factors such as signal interference, atmospheric conditions, and the quality of the GPS receiver.
  5. Applications: GPS is used in a wide range of applications, including:
    • Navigation: GPS is commonly used for turn-by-turn driving directions, hiking, boating, and aviation.
    • Surveying: Land surveyors use GPS for precise mapping and boundary delineation.
    • Agriculture: Farmers use GPS-guided tractors and equipment for precision farming.
    • Emergency Services: GPS helps locate and rescue individuals in distress.
    • Mapping and GIS: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) rely on GPS for spatial data collection and analysis.
    • Military: GPS plays a critical role in military operations, including navigation, targeting, and coordination.
  6. Continuous Improvement: The GPS system is continually improved and updated. In addition to the original GPS satellites, there are now additional constellations like GLONASS (Russia), Galileo (European Union), and BeiDou (China), which can enhance the accuracy and availability of GPS signals worldwide.

Overall, the Global Positioning System has revolutionized the way we navigate and interact with the world, providing accurate and reliable location information for countless applications.