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12 July 2020

How Does GPS Work?

We hear a lot about GPS. Phrases like GPS satellite, GPS tracker, etc. have integrated into our daily lives. The question here is, ‘what is GPS?’. The follow-up question is, ‘how does GPS work?’ There can be many other questions like these. In this write-up, we are going to answer such questions. Are you ready to learn? We know you are ready to learn because you are awesome! Let us begin!

What is GPS?

GPS is an abbreviation. It stands for Global Positioning System. It is one mouthful of a name, but it is quite simple in concept. Unfortunately, it is nearly rocket science when it comes to implementation. The good news here is that we do not have to worry about its implementation. We are the end users.

GPS is responsible for giving us a navigation system based on satellites. It gives information on time and provides a location. GPS works in all-weather conditions. Why? It is because the satellite is in space outside the atmosphere of our Earth.

GPS satellites can send location and time information anywhere near Earth or on Earth. There is a condition to fulfill for the information transaction to succeed.

“The location with which the information transaction will take places must be in direct line of sight of not one but at least four satellites.”

GPS is a critical tool for military, but it also finds some critical usage in both civilian and commercial fields.

How GPS Works?

Heads up! This segment that deals with the ‘how’ is going to be technical, but stay with us. We are going to make it as simple as possible.

Several steps need to work in tandem for the GPS to work correctly. Those steps are:

Number and position of satellites

24 satellites make up a Global Positioning System. Of these 24 satellites, 21 are known as GPS satellites while the remaining three are called spare satellites. These satellites are 2,000 kilometers above the surface of Earth. The satellites continuously orbit our planet.

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