written by: Claudine Baugh•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 9/26/2011
So you're having a little trouble understanding the mechanics behind the operation of GPS systems. No problem, this guide will give you all the details about GPS satellites and how they work to provide GPS signals -- connect with servers and receivers, retrieve data from locator devices, and more.
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There are currently 31 GPS satellites orbiting earth, four of which are actually used to create the proper signals to operate your GPS device. GPS satellites along with other devices such as servers, receivers, locators and computers work in correlation together to provide positional data of objects whether they are in motion or not, plus it gives you the convenience of observing highly intelligible, geographical maps anywhere on earth.
Considering those features only, users can embark on a long list of sophisticated features to perform extremely clever tracking and monitoring tasks in the workplace and even at home. As you read further through this guide on GPS satellites, you will get the insight you need in understanding the key concepts of how these GPS features come into effect and the means by which they benefit us all.
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The ABC’s of Satellites & How They Work
Before GPS was conceptualized or even came into effect, there were some important principles that had to be explored, understood and applied sequentially for its delivery. Einstein’s theory of relativity, for example, was an incredible breakthrough as it assisted in the creation GPS technology and as a result is partly responsible for its operation today.
Looking at GPS nowadays, there are a number of conditions that are required for the success and accuracy of its function. Stay with us as we run through the fundamentals of GPS satellites -- how they work and the elements involved, as affirmed by some of the most esteemed minds in the field.
Did you know that you can use the assistance of GPS satellites to track virtually anything you want? There are specific devices that you can install on cars, boats, planes and such to get their positional data from satellites. The satellites connect with the devices along with other components to help plot the movement of objects regardless of the mode by which they are traveling - whether on land, by sea or in flight.
Many proactive institutions have adapted the mechanics of GPS technology to better manage the operation of their businesses as well as monitor their assets including employees, merchandise and equipment. Just as beneficial, GPS technology has compensated for those seeking personal tracking requirements as well.
Are 31 satellites adequate to provide GPS coverage for everyone on earth? And if so, will they provide accurate signals to deliver quality service for each and every one of us? The answers to those questions are yes and yes, only those who are not savvy to the use of this exceptional technology can question its function.
The current GPS system as we know it today is providing phenomenal service, however the use of various devices and brands, the location of the receivers and signal strength can affect the accuracy in number of ways. Limitations aside, let's look at the methods by which GPS signal strength and accuracy can be improved, as we continue with this guide to GPS satellites.
There is a list of elements that can interrupt the accurate delivery of GPS signals from the satellites above. One major concern is with the satellites themselves, after so many years have passed, it is only expected that there be some sort of deterioration and ultimately limitation with their function.
Other main obstacles preventing proper signal detection by the receivers are actually massive concrete structures and other skyscrapers found predominantly in urban areas. If you were to really think about it, obvious elements such as the clouds, rain, trees, mountains and such would create some kind of obstruction too. As you continue further with this guide you will see that these are, in fact, some of the definite problems and causes for the inaccuracies present with GPS systems today.