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Truth About How GPS Works

Understanding GPS Technology

From GPS Tracking To GPS Navigation: A Brief Summary Of Satellite Technology

Most people use some form of GPS navigation or GPS tracking technology every single day without ever really thinking about how the technology actually works. Whether it is GPS in a wrist watch to help calculate a work-out, navigation system to provide turn-by-turn directions or a vehicle tracking system to capture historical driving activity, GPS technology is now entrenched in our daily lives and culture. Today, most people almost take for granted how easy it is to determine how far they have ran or biked, how easy it is to find directions to a particular location in an unfamiliar area or the simplicity of recovering a car if it were ever stolen through the use of theft-recovery GPS devices. All of these things are done through the power of satellite technology in what we now know as the Global Positioning System.

Provided by the United States Air Force at no usage cost to the public, at the core of GPS technology is a network of satellites that are in constant orbit of the Earth. These satellites move approximately 11,000 nautical miles above the ground on Earth, using a process known as triangulation to accurately determine position. Broadcasting a radio signal that is often described as weaker than that of a light bulb, the GPS satellites are then used to determine a variety of location-based information with the assistance of GPS receivers on the ground (The navigation device or real-time tracking unit in a person’s car would be classified as receivers).

Although there a number of GPS satellites orbiting the Earth, at least four satellites must work in unison in order for a GPS receiver to calculate position.

Why Was GPS Created?

Originally, GPS was created for military applications to help operations in a variety of ways such as guiding precision weapons to the desired target, accurate mobilization and deployment of ground troops in hostile environments, the effective release of humanitarian supplies and more.

Currently, the military has over 30 satellites in operation to create the most accurate and reliable location-based data and information that can pinpoint a receiver up to 1 meter!

Tracking System Direct invites everyone to watch the above video for a more detailed explanation of how the GPS network operates.