What is GPS?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a group of 27 Earth-orbiting satellites (24 in operation and three extras in case one fails). When people talk about a “GPS,” they usually mean a GPS receiver. The U.S. military developed and implemented this satellite network as a military navigation system but now lets everyone use the signals. It provides location and time information in all weather conditions, anywhere on or near the earth. GPS receivers are popularly used for navigation, positioning, time dissemination and other research purposes.

How does GPS work?

A common misconception among most people is how GPS works. GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites should not be confused with communication satellites used for wireless communications. They are two completely separate satellite networks. All of our systems use GPS satellites for location purposes. Our real-time systems then use various wireless networks (including satellite wireless) to communicate the location data so our customers can use the vehicle tracking GPS to locate the vehicles/assets in real-time. A minimum of four satellites may be required to compute the four dimensions of X, Y, Z (latitude, longitude and elevation) and time. GPS receiver converts the received signals into position and estimates time and some other useful information depending on the application and requirements.

How does GPS vehicle tracking system work?

A GPS antenna is tethered to the unit with a lead wire (typically 10-15 feet). The GPS antenna collects the GPS data and feeds it to the unit. The unit does some processing of events and speeds. Additionally, the GPS vehicle tracking unit has a wireless modem inside, similar to ones found in cell phones. This modem is used to communicate with Global Tracking’s systems. The GPS data is sent directly from the vehicle’s unit to our servers, where we process the information for the user. All of this happens in real-time. GPS determines the distance between a GPS satellite and a GPS receiver by measuring the amount of time taken by a radio signal(the GPS signal) to travel from the satellite to the receiver. To obtain accurate information, the satellites and the receiver use very accurate clocks, which are synchronized so that they generate the same code at exactly the same time.