If at any time you have wondered where exactly on Earth a person is, this is a question that might seem simple but that can actually go further. If the location of the location is a desert or the ocean , then GPS is the ideal means of knowing the location. After World War II , the Department of Defense of the United States needed to find a solution to the problems of exact and absolute location and that is how after several experiments this system was created..


What is GPS?


The GPS or Global Positioning System which in Spanish means Global Positioning System is a type of navigation system which is based on a series of satellites which can send accurate information about a certain location .

  • What is GPS?
  • Characteristics
  • Source
  • Story
  • Who invented it
  • What is GPS for
  • How does it work
  • How is it used
  • Precision
  • Importance of GPS

What is GPS?

This navigation system consists of a series of satellites , 24 in total , of which 21 of them are operational and 3 are backup, which are located in orbit over the Earth and which are responsible for sending all the necessary information related to with the position of an object or a person on Earth, regardless of the time, weather condition or place where it is.

These satellites are located approximately 20,200 kilometers from Earth and rotate in orbits every twelve hours . Each of these satellites have several atomic clocks that have incredible precision which operate using a frequency of 10.23 MHz , which is used to produce signals that will later be transmitted by the satellite.


Among the main characteristics that can be observed in a GPS, the following are mentioned:

  • Its acronym stands for Global Positioning System in Spanish .
  • It is a service that belongs to the United States .
  • It consists of three different segments, the spatial , the control and the user .
  • It is a service that provides information for free and is also available to users around the world.
  • It can be installed on mobile devices and in vehicles .
  • It was a device initially created as a military service.
  • It works through 24 different satellites located in the orbit of the Earth.


The true origin of GPS begins with Sputnik , an artificial satellite that had been sent by Russia into space in 1957. It was at that time that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers managed to track its orbit by means of a radio signal .


After the researchers were able to track the Sputnik signal in space, they thought it might also be possible to track things on Earth from satellites as well as locate things found on the Earth’s surface. First, the Navy of the United States conducted several tests with a navigation system in mid-year 1960 , a system that had been designed for submarines and used six satellites located in circumpolar orbits. This system was initially known as the Navstar Global Positioning System.

Several tests were carried out and in 1978 the first operational GPS satellite was used , however, it was also established that the 18 satellites that had been placed were not enough so they decided to increase the number to 24 . It was created with the objective of being able to track guided missiles and to follow up tests that had been vetoed by the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Tests in 1963.

Later, in 1995 , the United States government reported that the system had successfully passed all the tests and in 1995 it was also used by the country’s Department of Transportation . Today, you can find this system in practically all electronic devices that exist, in mobile phones, in cars, airplanes and boats.

Who invented it

The inventors of the GPS system were Ivan A. Getting , Bradford Parkinson, and Roger L. Easton.

What is GPS for

The GPS system is used to provide information to users regarding the exact location of a thing, person or place. In fact, this system has a myriad of uses today whether in the air , sea or on land . It serves to find an address or location in a certain place on Earth which can even be in remote places such as caves and underwater.

It is widely used in the field of general and commercial aviation , in commercial, professional and recreational boats and is widely used in the field of surveying as it is one of the necessary components to determine the best position. Its use is also very common in people who use cars to better find locations, hikers , hunters , cyclists and skiers to name a few, constantly use the system.

Its main uses are then the following:

  • Location : Determine a position.
  • Navigation : Go from one place to another.
  • Tracking : Control the movement of objects or people.
  • Cartography : Create maps of the world.

How does it work

There are several types of methods by which the location can be obtained using a GPS and this will also depend on the information that is needed and the type of receiver that you have. For its operation, the system has three important elements, the satellites , the stations on Earth for monitoring and control and the GPS receivers , the latter in the hands of the users.

From space , the satellites are responsible for transmitting a series of signals which are received and identified by the receivers of the GPS which at the same time, provide three – dimensional coordinates based on latitude , longitude and altitude , as well as the precise hour.

How is it used

There are many ways in which GPS can be used, some of them are:

  • Use on electronic devices : in this case, you only have to access the pre-selected application that most devices have, if you don’t have one, you should download it from Google. The map opens on the screen and if you want to know the location you just have to click on the option or if you need to locate another place, this should be written in the search bar .
  • In the case of GPS installed in cars , they have a command already pre – set in which you can access the necessary information.
  • In most of the applications that can be downloaded from the internet for GPS locations, the instructions are very simple and you only need to enter the name of the place you need to find.


As with positioning, the accuracy of GPS speed depends on many factors. There is a space error of ≤0,006 m / sec at any interval of 3 seconds , with a probability of 95%. They must also consider items such as the geometry of the satellite , the locking of the signal , the weather conditions and the characteristics / quality of the design of the receiver, to calculate the accuracy of the speed of the receiver. The user range error of GPS signals in space is actually the same for civil GPS servicesand military . However, most of today’s civilian devices only use one GPS frequency, while military receivers use two.

Importance of GPS

GPS is an instrument that has come to revolutionize everyday life. It is an important system that provides excellent tracking via satellite which is important for a lot of business and personal nature . It has even managed to improve many commercial applications that already existed, for example, bus and taxi services . Most companies now realize the importance of GPS technology to achieve greater efficiency in order to provide better benefits to people.

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