Global Positioning System or GPS is the pioneering adventure of the US Space Force that has been a great enabler of services and utilities systems worldwide.
GPS – a pioneering, transformational satellite-based location-based technology.
GPS has had a dramatic impact on our day-to-day living. It’s functional sphere is constantly expanding to include more and more utilities and applications. This has helped in bringing greater possibilities and value that drive the mechanics of operations and systems worldwide.
What is GPS?
GPS or Global Positioning System is one of the first of the GNSS ( Global Navigation Satellite Systems). Introduced in 1973 by the US Space Force, it has acquired a massive, all-encompassing footprint across the world. The US Space Force operates and regulates it and it is free to use all across the world. The functional profile of GPS is defined by it’s ability to accurately provide PNT — Positioning, Navigation, and Timing. It’s space segment comprises of more than thirty satellites orbiting the earth. They are positioned in six orbits at a distance of 20,000 kms from the earth. These satellites, through their accurate system, send radio signals to a web of master and backup control and monitor stations, and far-flung local monitoring stations worldwide, as well as directly to user devices.
These stations comprise the control and monitoring segment of GPS on earth.
GPS mainly relies on satellite technologies to provide accurate and assured information related to positioning and navigation in real-time. This is directly related to moving or stationary objects. These applications are industry-specific and need-based.
A major application of GPS which is directly and quite commonly experienced by us is travel. We now have at our disposal cars that can get us from A to B with the least stress and maximum convenience by saving us precious time and energy. It is quite ubiquitous in numerous areas of the global society and economy and not just limited to travel.
Technologically equipped to provide accurate, secure, and assured service
To make it a seamless and near-perpetual process, GPS relies on it’s strategic in-built M-code which wards off any potential interference or jamming from intended and unintended sources. M-code is the primary layer of defence that is critical to keeping interference away, and, is supported by additional defence barriers.
Massive benefits and increasing gains
GPS has created a massive influence on our lives, particularly, raising the level of ease and safety in our daily lives. The impact of GPS on our environment has been very significant owing to it’s enabling benefits to society. Some areas where these surface are,
- In military defence, GPS plays a crucial role in pinpointing enemy movements and equipment and personnel location. Further, it offers navigation insights and ability which help carry out strategic operations and rescue missions.
- Combined with mapping technology, GPS provides an enabling and powerful mechanism for managing road traffic. It can pinpoint the location, direction, and speed of a vehicle, which helps in managing, controlling, and administrating traffic movement.
GPS assists precision agriculture by determining aspects of soil appropriateness. It helps determine which area of arable land contains what kind of soil as well as, soil and area suitability for specific types of crops.
- GPS has progressively supplanted traditional methods of carrying out land surveys for the purpose of construction and area development as a more cost-effective, accurate, and efficient means.
- It can help detect structural defects in roads other infrastructure as well as predict earthquakes and other oncoming natural disasters.
- Crime control and surveillance. GPS enables authorities to spot, locate and track down crimes and criminals through devices attached to vehicles and communication devices.
- It enables people, particularly while travelling, to search utilities and general and specific providers of goods and services easily saving time and effort.
- It allows weather updates in real-time. Also, it provides emergency alerts in case of situations like traffic hold-ups due to different reasons like landslides and so on.
- In the marine zones, GPS enables ships to navigate their routes with minimal loss of time and energy by assisting the crew in charting the least congested waterways and choose and time their entry into docking areas when they are not congested.
- GPS enables efficient and effective fleet tracking in the trucking industry. It provides smart route planning in real-time. Further, it makes operations more cost-effective and safer by preventing theft and unauthorised fleet usage, reducing detention time and fuel usage.
- Autonomous vehicles are enabled by GPS which provides real-time actionable data with regard to tracking location and determining routes.
- GPS assists in gaming too. Exciting Augmented reality games like Pokémon Go are enabled by this location-based, positioning satellite system.
- In the mining industry, GPS enables locating of mineral deposits.
- GPS helps with locational and geographical surveying and mapping of areas.
These services are accessible to all and anyone who wishes to use GPS for PNT measurements, across the world.
To enjoy GPS-assisted location-based gaming like Pokémon Go install Bluestacks or a reliable location spoofer like Dr. fone- Virtual location (ios) on any of these exceptional gaming laptops for an immersive gaming experience.
Satellite technologies are on a constant upward curve, and organisations like NASA and ISRO, particularly, growing bolder in their space adventures, GPS along with the other GNSS are witnessing an increasingly advancing rate of adoption of positioning systems. The ongoing rapid innovation of the systems is ensuring an exponential rise in applications to services and utilities. This signals greater assimilation of the positioning systems into our everyday life experiences.