Though it has a relatively long track record, misconceptions still surround the Global Positioning System, especially in terms of autonomous vehicles.
Everyone knows that GPS uses satellites to deliver position information to things like smart watches and your car’s navigation system. But not so many know the details about just how sophisticated, complex, and advanced today’s satellite-based navigation systems truly are.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) was launched by the US government in 1973 to offer satellite-based navigation anywhere on earth. There are about 30 satellites in the GPS constellation that continuously transmit the current time and their position down to earth. A GPS receiver on earth will observe multiple satellite signals. The receiver calculates the time it takes for the signal to arrive from the satellite. The receiver is able to triangulate its position by calculating the distance from each satellite being observed.
Despite its history, myths and misunderstandings surround GPS technology. This article debunks 11 of them.
1. GPS is the only satellite-based navigation system.
It turns out others in the geospatial community have similar systems. Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) is the big picture…