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GPS AND ITS MYTHS!

“The first step is to establish that something possible; then probability will occur”
Well, there are too many interesting fields and tech topics around the world to search about, GPS is one such thing that grabs the attention to blog and to learn about, as we use it in our day to day regular life that needs to be explored.
Okay, we shall know some interesting topics about GPS.
Here we go,

So what actually is GPS anyway?
In general, GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of at least 24 satellites.
The U.S. Department of Defense (USDOD) originally put the satellites into orbit for military use, but they were made available for civilian use in the 1980s.
The Global Positioning System, formally known as the NAVSTAR Global Positioning System, was initiated in 1973 to reduce the use of navigation aids which the people are using traditionally.

How does it work?
The global positioning system (GPS) is actually a constellation (same as some group of stars that form some meaningful patterns) of 27 solar-powered satellites orbiting the earth (24 operational and 3 extras just in case one fails).
The U.S. military developed and implemented this satellite network as a military navigation system and soon made it open and freely available to the general public.
These 24 main GPS satellites orbit Earth every 12 hours, sending a synchronized (operate at same time or rate) signal from each individual satellite. Because the satellites are moving in different directions, the receiver can calculate where the user is when at least four satellites get in touch with the receiver.

How is GPS used?
The GPS receivers collect signals from satellites and display the user’s position, velocity, and time. Users determine their position by measuring their distance from the group of satellites in space.
Each GPS satellite transmits an accurate position and time signal. The user’s receiver measures the time delay for the signal to reach the receiver and these measurements collects simultaneously from four satellites and are processed to solve the three dimensions of position (latitude, longitude, and altitude) and time.

What does GPS provides?
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a network of satellites which can be used to locate vehicles and people. It is a U.S.-owned utility that provides users with three services that can be classified as (PNT) services i.e.

Positioning services
Navigation services and
Timing services

GPS is a system, made up of three parts:
Satellites
Ground stations and
Receivers.

The U.S. Air Force develops, maintains, and operates the space and control segments.

Space segment (GPS satellites)
A number of GPS satellites are deployed on six orbits (four GPS satellites per one orbit) around the earth at the altitude of approximately 20,000 km, and these satellites orbit every 11hour 58minutes interval.
Control segment (Ground control stations)
Ground control stations play roles of monitoring, controlling and maintaining satellite in the orbit.
Master Control Station (MCS) located at the Schriever Air Force Base near Colorado Springs, Colorado. The MCS operates the system that provides command and control functions for the satellite constellation
User segment (GPS receivers)
The user segment receives the signals from the GPS receiver to calculate user position and time.
Today, all we need is a simple hand-held GPS receiver to figure out exactly where we are anywhere in the world at anytime. But we still need objects high in the sky to track the location and find out where we are.

                                                                                MYTHS OF GPS AND FACTS BEHIND IT:

1. The U.S. military owns GPS
GPS is operated by the 2nd and 19th Space Operations Squadrons at Schriever Base, Colorado. However, the U.S. government owns GPS, and the program is paid for by U.S. taxpayers. According to GPS.gov, GPS receives “national-level attention and guidance from a joint civil/military body called the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing.”

2. If you get lost, blame the GPS!
The satellites only provide the signals; it’s up to users to keep devices updated with current maps and information. The signals that are coming down are very strong and healthy, In the event, if one of any satellites fails, they have another one up to have the full coverage that we need.” Even though there are more than GPS satellites in orbit, only 24 are active at any given time. This allows for immediate replacement of signal if an issue arises with one of the satellites.

3. GPS signals are turned off for combat purposes by US military.
GPS has never been deactivated by the military for its exclusive use during combat operations since being declared fully operational. There are millions of civilian users and monitors of GPS around the world to know about if they have turned off the GPS signals for a while.

4.  Are GPS satellites used to track us by government?
The issue with this myth is, of course, the fact that the GPS device used in cell phones is a receiver, not a transmitter. Thus, your phone is not constantly transmitting your position unless we post it on various social media platforms.

5. GPS navigation systems will always pick “the best route”
Most navigation systems will allow users to choose between the shortest route, quickest route,., but none of them state they are offering the best route. One thing the current navigation systems can’t account for is local knowledge of an area of which people might use and these are things people need to consider when determining which route to choose.

6. Military GPS is more accurate than civilian GPS
The main difference is that military GPS operates on two signals, while civilian GPS operates on one. The accuracy of GPS signals is the same for both military and civilian GPS in space. However, civilian users will soon have two new signals to operate, as they have upgrade the current GPS satellites allowing them to broadcast the L2C and L5 civilian signals. The signals are not yet fully operational, but once they are, civilian users will have access to the two signals as well.

7. Only shipping companies are benefitted by GPS!
GPS can help a wide range such as from waste removal services to street cleaners and a few local delivery drivers and for civilian use.

8. GPS resides only on phones, in cars and on hand-held display units
GPS touches and aids more humans every minute of every day in every corner of the globe. GPS technology affects our lives in more ways than we could possibly imagine, from banking systems and financial markets to communications networks, power grids, weather forecasting and environmental protection efforts. GPS is, and does, so much more than sit on your phone and wait for you to ask directions to any place.

9. GPS might show the longest route!
The fact remains that most people needs to reach the destination in time. In fact, usually things like automated route logging, constantly updated maps, and routing around traffic jams save them time on the road so they can reach the destination in time.

10. It is too complicated!
GPS is never complicated and can be accessed and used by a normal user. It doesn’t require special skills to use it, just knowing the basics of operating it.

11. GPS won’t work if it’s cloudy or there is bad weather!
People tend to correlate GPS with what they know about satellite television service, which is notorious for losing a signal during times of adverse weather conditions. The GPS version of “clear view of the sky,” simply means the receivers need a signal path clear of obstructions according to gpsreview.net.

12. Employees don’t need to be tracked by GPS!
It’s about the financial benefits to the entire organization. There is no business that lacks room for improvement when it comes to organization or efficiency. GPS tracking systems help with both.
It will improve customer relations, employee work details. We can use the benefits of GPS for any business so that you can see why so many businesses have never looked back.

13. GPS will not work if it is raining!
GPS works just as well if the day is wet or dry. It doesn’t mind thick cloud cover, we can access the GPS.

14. GPS will not work indoors or in forests!
A GPS Device needs to receive the signals up from the satellites up there. It will work well in all the thick forests.
Similarly the GPS will work in indoors.