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How does the GPS Work

The GPS(Global positioning system) or NAVSTAR-GPS1  is a system global navigation satellite system (GNNS) that allows to establish worldwide,an object , person,vehicle or ship position,with an accuracy even of centimeters(if you use differential GPS),even though the normal is of  a  few centimeters of accuracy.Its invention it is attributed to french and belgian governments,but the system itself , was developed, installed and currently operated by US Defense Department.

The GPS works through a 32 satellites network(28 operatives and 4 backup ones) in orbit over the globe ,to 20 200 kms,with synchronized trajectories to cover the whole earth surface.When position is established , the receiver used for it,automatically locates with a minimum of three satellites from the network, from which recieves a signal indicating the identification and the time from the clock of each one of them.Based on this signals ,the device synchronize the GPS clock anc calculates the time from the signals that it takes to reach to the device, and this way it measures the distance to the satellite through triangulation(conversely trilateration method), which is based into define distance from each satellite with respect to measure point.Once Distances are known, it is easily deifne the relative position itself with respect to the three satellites.In addition knowing the coordinates or position from each one of them by the signal they send,you obtain the absolut position or real coordinates of the measure point.It is also established the extreme accuracy in the GPS clock,similar to the atomic clocks that are aboard in each one of the satellites.


The Former soviet union built a similar system name GLONASS, now managed by the Russian Federation.

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