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Introduction to the

Global Positioning System

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GPS

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What is the GPS?
Orbiting navigational satellites
Transmit position and time data
Handheld receivers calculate
latitude
longitude
altitude
velocity

Developed by Department of Defense


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GPS -ELEMENTS
GPS

SPACE CONTROL STATION USER

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Components of the System
Space segment
24 satellite vehicles
Six orbital planes
Inclined 55o with respect to
equator
Orbits separated by 60o
20,200 km elevation above
Earth
Orbital period of 11 hr 55
min
Five to eight satellites can
detect any point on Earth
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The GPS Constellation

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GPS Satellite Vehicle
Four atomic clocks
Three nickel-cadmium
batteries
Two solar panels
Battery charging
Power generation

S band antennasatellite
control
12 element L band
antennauser
communication

Block IIF satellite vehicle 7


GPS Satellite Vehicle
Orbitalperiod 11hrs
55min
Thrusters
Microprocessor on
board
Design life10 years

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Components of the System
User segment
GPS antennas & receiver/processors
Position
Velocity
Precise timing
Used by
Aircraft
Ground vehicles
Ships
Individuals

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Components of the System

Ground control segment


Master control station
Colorado
Fivemonitor stations
Three ground antennas
Backup control system

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GPS Communication and Control

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GPS Ground Control Stations

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Handheld GPS Receivers
Garmin eTrex
~$100

Garmin-12
~$150

CasioGPS
wristwatch
~$300

The GPS Store

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How does GPS work?

Satellite ranging
Satellite locations
Satellite to user distance
Need four satellites to determine position
Distance measurement
Radiosignal traveling at speed of light
Measure time from satellite to user
Low-tech simulation
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WORKING OF GPS

CALCULATING A POSITION
Measuring Distance to Satellites

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How does GPS work?
Distance to a satellite is determined by measuring how
long a radio signal takes to reach us from that satellite.
To make the measurement we assume that both the
satellite and our receiver are generating the same
pseudo-random codes at exactly the same time.
By comparing how late the satellite's pseudo-random
code appears compared to our receiver's code, we
determine how long it took to reach us.
Multiply that travel time by the speed of light and you've
got distance.

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Signal From One Satellite

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Signal From One Satellite

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Signals From Two Satellites

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Three Satellites (2D Positioning)

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GPS Position Determination

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How does GPS work?

Grid Systems
1 deg longitude or
latitude =approx.
60miles
1deg=60 minutes
higher level of
accuracy

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Factors that affect GPS
Number of satellites - minimum number required
Multipath - reflection of GPS signals near the antennae
Ionosphere - change in the travel time of the signal
(refraction)
Troposphere - change in the travel time of the signal
Satellite Geometry - general distribution of the satellites
Satellite Health - Availability of Signal
Signal Strength - Quality of Signal
Distance from the Reference Receiver
Radio Frequency (RF) Interference

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How does GPS work?

Satellites are accurate because they have


four atomic clocks ($100,000 each) on
board.
Receiver clocks don't have to be too
accurate because an extra satellite range
measurement can remove errors.

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Application of GPS Technology
Location - determining a basic position
Navigation - getting from one location to
another
Tracking - monitoring the movement of
people and things
Mapping - creating maps of the world
Timing - bringing precise timing to the
world
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Application of GPS Technology
Private and recreation
Traveling by car
Hiking, climbing, biking
Vehicle control
Mapping, survey, geology
English Channel Tunnel
Agriculture
Aviation
General and commercial
Spacecraft
Maritime
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Military Uses for the GPS
Operation Desert Storm
Featureless terrain
Initial purchase of 1000 portable commercial
receivers
More than 9000 receivers in use by end of the
conflict
Foot soldiers
Vehicles
Aircraft
Marine vessels
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Classroom Applications
Physics
Distance, velocity, time
Orbital concepts
Earth Science
Mapping
Spacecraft
Environmental Science
Migratory patterns
Population distributions
GLOBE Progra
Geography
Technology
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Classroom Applications
Careers
Aerospace
Satellite
vehicles
Launch vehicles
Hardware engineering
Ground control systems
User systems
Softwareengineering
Research careers

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Reference Websites
USNO NAVSTAR Homepage
Info on the GPS constellation
How Stuff Works GPS
Good everyday language explanation
Trimble GPS tutorial
Flash animations
GPS Waypoint registry
Database of coordinates

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Thanks for your interest in the
Global Positioning System

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