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What is a GPS Receiver?

by diane 2010-02-10 06:42

Could you imagine how much efforts it would take for people in old times not to get lost? They erected monumental landmarks, laboriously drafted detailed maps and learned to read the stars in the night sky.
Things are much, much easier today. You can get a pocket-sized gadget that will tell you exactly where you are on Earth at any moment. As long as you have a GPS receiver and a clear view of the sky, you'll never be lost again.
As we'll see, the Global Positioning System is vast, expensive and involves a lot of technical ingenuity, but the fundamental concepts at work are quite simple and intuitive.
¬When people talk about "a GPS," they usually mean a GPS receiver. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is actually a constellation of 27 Earth-orbiting satellites (24 in operation and three extras in case one fails). The U.S. military developed and implemented this satellite network as a military navigation system, but soon opened it up to everybody else.

Each of these 3,000- to 4,000-pound solar-powered satellites circles the globe at about 12,000 miles (19,300 km), making two complete rotations every day. The orbits are arranged so that at any time, anywhere on Earth, there are at least four satellites "visible" in the sky.
A GPS receiver's job is to locate four or more of these satellites, figure out the distanc¬e to each, and use this information to deduce its own location. This operation is based on a simple mathematical principle called trilateration.
 In order for the distance information to be of any use, the receiver also has to know where the satellites actually are. This isn't particularly difficult because the satellites travel in very high and predictable orbits. The GPS receiver simply stores an almanac that tells it where every satellite should be at any given time. Things like the pull of the moon and the sun do change the satellites' orbits very slightly, but the Department of Defense constantly monitors their exact positions and transmits any adjustments to all GPS receivers as part of the satellites' signals.

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Thinking of a great gift idea – look for a GPS which makes the life more exciting. Hunting, fishing, geocaching, motorcycle and bike riding, running, yachting, golfing. There is a Garmin GPS for just about every moment in life. And we’re here to help - And that being said, we wish you a happy shopping here at Gps4us.com.

 

 

 

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