When I'm on the go, going to the place where I never been before. All I need to do is look on my phone's screen and the direction is there. It helps me a lot. Let us take a background history long before maps or compasses were invented, people used the sun and stars to navigate. In way, we're still looking to the sky when we travel - only now we're looking to high-tech satellites, called the Global Positioning System (GPS).
GPS is a system of satellites, monitoring stations, and receivers. The 28 solar-powered satellites are spaced evenly around Earth and orbit our planet twice a day. Each satellite carries four atomic clocks that send the exact time to receivers on Earth. Each satellite also sends signals that tell its current location. A GPS receiver uses the information to calculate its own position on Earth.
With so many satellites in orbit, it's important to know where each one is located to make sure none stray off course. Monitoring Stations set up around the world do just that. The tracking information that stations receive is relayed to the Master Control Station located at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado. Satellites in space sends signals to monitoring Stations on Earth.
Development of GPS
The United States developed GPS technology for military use. The public was allowed to use the system in 1983, although at first the information wasn't as precise as the military's.
Your Location Tracker
GPS has many uses on land, sea, and in the air. Besides helping drivers and pilots find their way, GPS keeps hikers on the right trail, and helps fisherman locate where the fish are biting. Golfers use it to measure the distance between holes.
Scientists use GPS to help them with their research, such as studying earthquake faults or discovering the migration patterns of animals. Explorers hunting for shipwrecks guide their vessels with GPS. And perhaps most importantly, emergency teams responding to disasters use GPS to locate victims.
In addition, here are some uses for GPS:
A motorcyclist checks in GPS to find the nearest road in Africa's Kalahari Desert.
Safe inside their truck, storm chaser keeps an eye on an approaching tornado with the help of his GPS.
And a hiker uses a map and GPS to plan his route up a mountain.