Global Positioning System

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Global Positioning System Wouldn’t it be great if you could be sure that you would never be lost again? That you would know exactly where you were at all times, whether at land, air, or sea. Well, that is possible with modern technology. More specifically, that is possible with the help of GPS, the Global Positioning System. GPS is a navigational tool that has recently become extremely popular because of it wide range of uses. Whether you are a fisherman or an avid traveler, you could find some use for GPS. And with GPS becoming more and more affordable, it won’t belong until everyone is using it. The Global Positioning System (GPS) was developed by the US Department of Defense in hopes of providing the military with a precise form of worldwide positioning. This twelve billion dollar project resulted in the creation of 24 satellites, each with its own base station, that orbit the Earth. Using these satellites, the GPS is able to pinpoint positions accurate to the nearest meter, or sometimes even centimeter. Needless to say, this system has changed the face of modern day navigational techniques. So, how does it work? The basic concept behind understanding GPS is a technique called “triangulating.” By using this technique, we can pinpoint any place on Earth by using only three different satellites. More specifically, we would want to use our distance from these three satellites. Hypothetically speaking, say we measured our distance from one satellite to be 10,000 miles. Our position would be narrowed down to a point on the surface of a sphere, centered on the satellite, with a radius of 10,000 miles. Now, say that the next measurement is 11,000 miles from another satellite and we imagine a similar sphere.... ... middle of paper ... ...ave some problems that have yet to be worked out. GPS is constantly being tweaked and improved. With innovations such as Differential GPS, this technology has a very promising outlook. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself using GPS in some form in the very near future. Works Cited How GPS Works: An Introduction: http://vancouver-webpages.com/peter/gpswork.txt Global Positioning system overview, Dana, Peter. H. http://www.colorado.edu/geography/gcraft/notes/gps/gps.html 1994 GPS Tutor – Introduction, http://www.mercat.com/QUEST/Intro.htm 1998 GPS Tutor – Error, http://www.mercat.com/QUEST/Error.htm 1998 Trimble – All About GPS: www.trimble.com

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