GPS that stands for Global Positioning System, is a satellite-based navigation system made of about 24 satellites. Garmin GPS works anywhere in the world, in any weather condition, with no setup charges or subscription fee. USDOD (U.S Department of Defense) originally put the satellites into orbit for the military. But in the 1980s they were made available for civilian use.
How Global Positioning System (GPS) Works
Global Positioning System (GPS) circle the earth twice a day. In a precise orbit, each satellite transmits a unique signal and orbital parameters that permits GPS devices to decode and compute the exact location of the satellite.
Moreover, GPS receivers make use of this information and trilateration in order to calculate the user’s precise location. Trilateration is the process of determining total or virtual locations of points by measurement of distance, using spheres, triangles, or geometry of circles.
Basically, a GPS receiver measures the distance to each satellite by the amount of time it takes to receive a transmitted signal. On the other hand, distance measurements from more satellites, a receiver can determine the position of a user and electronically displays it in order to measure your running route, map a golf course, find a way home, etc. For more assistance, you are welcome by heart to ask our technical department for Garmin help at toll-free number 1-844-742-9742.
In order to calculate the longitude and latitude (2-D) position and track your movement, a GPS receiver supposed to be locked onto the signal of three (3) satellites at least. In view, with four (4) or more satellites, the receiver can determine your 3-D position.
Usually, a GPS receiver can easily track more than eight (8) satellites, but that will depend on the time of the day are where are you presently standing on the earth. On the other hand, some devices can do all of that from your wrist easily without any trouble.
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As soon as your position has been determined, GPS unit can calculate other information like speed, bearing, track, trip distance, sunrise and sunset time, distance to destination, and more.
How precise is GPS?
Nowadays, GPS receivers are really precise, with their parallel multi-channel design. When first turned on our receivers are quick to lock onto satellites. With tall buildings or apartment, they maintain a tracking lock in dense tree-cover or in urban settings. On the other hand, certain atmospheric factors and other error sources can affect the accuracy of GPS receivers a lot. Remember, accuracy is even better on the water and some Garmin GPS receiver accuracy is improved with Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). This ability and capability can improve accuracy to better more than 2 meters, by providing corrections to the atmosphere.
Note: No additional equipment or fee is required to take advantage of WAAS.
Additional GPS Systems
Well, there are other similar systems to GPS nowadays, which are classified as the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).
- GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System). This is a satellite-based radio navigation system run by Russian Ministry of Defense. Moreover, it uses 21 MEO satellites and three spares as well.
- On the other hand, European Space Agency is creating Galileo, while BeiDou is created by China.
- Moreover, most Garmin receivers track both GLONASS and GPS.
Moreover, you can expect a more reliable solution when you track more satellites. With newer Garmin products you could be tracking more than 18 satellites.
The GPS Satellite System
Thirty-one (31) satellites that currently make up the GPS space segment are orbiting the earth more than 10,000 miles beyond us. The satellites are constantly moving non-stop, making two complete orbits within 24 hours. They travel at a speed of about 7,000 miles an hour. Moreover, small rocket boosters keep each satellite flying on the accurate and right path.
Below are some other interesting facts about the GPS satellites. Let’s have a look onto them:
- Official USDOD name for GPS is NAVSTAR (navigation System timing And Ranging).
- In 1978, first GPS satellite was launched.
- In 1994, full constellation of 24 satellites was achieved.
- GPS satellite weighs approximately 2,000 pounds. On the other hand, it is about 17 feet across with the extended solar panels.
- Moreover, they are powered by solar energy too and also have backup batteries onboard.
- Transmitter power is 50 Watts.
What is a signal?
Do you know the fact that GPS satellites transmit at least 2 low-power radio signals that travel by line of sight? Well, it means that they will pass through clouds, glass, and plastic but will not go through most solid objects, such as mountains and buildings.
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