Three Steps on How a GPS System Functions

by Robert Hulse

The Global Positioning System is a satellite system that works in all weather conditions to provide location details. It is used to track assets while in air, land, or sea and minimize the risk for potential theft. GPS trackers have different designs, and others like the hidden GPS tracker require no wiring; thus, they can be placed anywhere as long as there is a communication network. In this article, we discuss the overview of how the GPS operates.

How Does a GPS System Operate?

This system is divided into three main categories: space, control, and user sections. We discuss each segment below how the GPS determines the position of an object or individual.

1. Space Section

It is also referred to as GPS satellites, with 29 of them revolving around the earth every twelve hours. Only four satellites can be viewed from earth at a time which helps in the tracking process. This segment aims to utilize any signals involving the chosen route, stores them, and retransmit the message as sent by the control section.

2. Control Section

This section is also known as the monitor station. It involves six stations, where one is the control station and is superior to the other five stations, known as monitor stations. One characteristic of this segment is that it’s fitted with atomic clocks, spread around the earth to control transmission. The role of the five monitor stations is to track the signals of the GPS satellite and relay the data to the master or superior control station. The master control system plays a significant role in detecting abnormalities. During information transmission, errors can be present, which lower the accuracy levels, so the master system changes them and sends them via the circularly polarized antennas to the GPS satellite.

3. User Section

This section involves the GPS receiver, which is the main element. The GPS satellite sends signals to the receiver, and the receiver determines the distance between each signal and its origin, the satellite. The military mainly uses this segment but can also be used by ordinary people in applications that need GPS.

How Does the GPS Determine a Location or Position?

The GPS tracking system is based on a mathematical principle known as trilateration. However, we won’t delve into details, but positions are identified from the size of the distance to the satellites. The receiver gets information from the satellite, and through triangulation, the positions are determined. The four satellites determine the receiver’s spot on the globe. Tracing of any location is done by the first three satellites, while the fourth gives the exact position of the target location.

Bottom Line

GPS is among the several satellite groups used to confirm the exact location of something. The system can locate, track objects or personal movement or map out globe details, among other functions. Its working process may be a bit scientific, but the details provided above are simple and easy to understand. Seek to know the basics of its operation or ask the seller to help you understand before buying.

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