How GPS Works

Global Positioning System

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS was originally intended for military applications, but in the 1980’s, the government made the system available for civilian use. GPS works in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day.

How It Works

gps_satellitejpgGPS satellites circle the earth twice a day in a very precise orbit and transmit signal information to earth. GPS receivers take this information and use triangulation to calculate the user’s exact location. Essentially, the GPS receiver compares the time a signal was transmitted by a satellite with the time it was received. The time difference tells the GPS receiver how far away the satellite is. Now, with distance measurements from a few more satellites, the receiver can determine the user’s position and display it on the unit’s electronic map.

 

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2976 Ivanrest SW, Ste 255
Grandville, MI 49418
(616) 260-4739

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