The Global Positioning System (GPS)

explanatory Essay
1936 words
1936 words

The Global Positioning System, more commonly called the GPS is a satellite based system that provides navigation for almost everything from cell phones to automobiles. This wonderful technology is very vital in today’s economy because of its prominence in banking, financial markets, power grids, farming, construction and so much more. It also protects human life by preventing accidents, helping in search and rescue missions and is critical to nearly every facet of military operations. There are three segments that make up the global positioning system: the space segment, the control segment and the user segment. The segment we are familiar with is the user segment. The user segment is what receives GPS signals, determines the distance between a satellite and a receiver and solves the navigation equations, all in order to obtain the coordinates of a specific place. The space segment consists of 31 satellites but there is an availability of at least 24 satellites that are approximately 6 000-12 000 miles above the earth.

These satellites are arranged in this way because it ensures that at least four satellites are in view from literally any point on earth. This ensures the accurate and efficient operation of the global positioning system. The last but arguably the most important segment of the GPS is the control segment. The control segment is a global network of facilities that track the satellites in space and ensure they are functioning properly. This includes monitoring their transmissions, performing analyses on them and sending commands and data to them. There are three parts to the control segment; the master control station, monitor stations and ground antennas. The master control station is responsib...

... middle of paper ... GPS Overview. N.p., 1 Sept. 2013. Web. 28 Dec. 2013. .
Blewitt, Geoffrey. "Basics of GPS Technique: Observation Equations." Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Jan. 2014.
B.Langley, Richard. "The Mathematics of GPS." University of New Brunswick. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Jan. 2014. .
Three Segments of GPS. N.d. -, Texas University. .
B.Thompson, Richard. "Global Positioning System: The Mathematics of GPS Receivers." Mathematics Magazine. University of Arizona, n.d. Web. 1 Jan. 2014.
GPS Orbit. N.d. Government of United States of America, U.S.A. Space Segment. Web. 1 Jan. 2014.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the global positioning system is a satellite-based system that provides navigation for almost everything from cell phones to automobiles.
  • Explains that the control segment is a global network of facilities that track the satellites in space and ensure they are functioning properly.
  • Explains the origins of the global positioning system, stating that the lack of a reliable, easy and efficient navigation system was influential to its invention.
  • Explains that the global positioning system was developed to broadcast an accurate time reference. the availability of the system to the public was a huge step towards an increase in safer and more efficient technology.
  • Explains that the gps is a complex system with 24 satellites orbiting earth in six planes.
  • Analyzes how michelle decides to ask another person and they tell her she is 386km from windsor. combining both pieces of information, it becomes more helpful.
  • Narrates how michelle asks another stranger who tells her she's 38km from richmond hill. this last piece of information will tell michelle where she is.
  • Explains how the gps receiver uses four satellites to calculate its exact location and altitude on earth.
  • Explains that the gps receiver and the satellite will both be mis-synchronized by an unknown amount. the distance measurements are influenced by the receiver's and satellite clock errors.
  • Explains newton-raphson iteration, which solves four linearized equations to determine the coordinates of the receiver.
  • Explains taylor's theorem must be applied here to expand the above model using arranged parameter values.
  • Explains that the residual observation is defined to be the difference between the computed provisional values and the observed provisionals.
  • Explains that the linearized observation equation expresses a linear relationship between b (observed computed observation) and the unknown parameters represented by x.
  • Explains that the global positioning system is a vital instrument to the betterment of society and society's dependency on it is continuing to grow.
  • Explains gps orbit. n.d. government of united states of america, u.s.a.
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