GPS – Global Positioning System

A System of satellites, computers and receivers that is able to determine the latitude and longitude of a receiver on Earth by calculating the time difference for signals from different satellites to reach the receiver is called as Global Positioning System.

GPS involves Satellite Tracking. This is a satellite navigation system used for determining one’s precise location and providing highly accurate time reference almost anywhere on Earth or in Earth’s orbit. It uses an intermediate circular orbit (ICO) satellite constellation of atleast 24 satellites.

The GPS is divided into three segments; Space, Control and User. The space segment comprises the GPS satellite constellation. The control segment comprises of ground stations around the world that are responsible for monitoring the flight paths of the GPS satellites. The user segment consists of GPS receivers used for both military and civilian applications. GPS receivers convert signals into position, velocity and time estimates. Four satellites are required to compute the four dimensions of X, Y, Z (for position) and Time.

GPS receivers are used for navigation, positioning, time dissemination and in other research fields.

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