How does a vehicle GPS work?
Why do cars even have a GPS in the first place?
By this point in the 21st century, pretty much everyone knows what a GPS navigation is used for. But do we even know how it actually works? Or how about all the functions GPS vehicle tracking systems offer besides showing you were the nearest eating places are? Keep reading on to learn how GPS navigation works and much more!
What is GPS?
The Global Positioning System or GPS network consists of 27 global positioning satellites orbiting around the earth (24 operational plus 3 backup satellites in case one fails). To ensure that the whole world is covered by the constellation of the GPS satellites, the satellites are arranged in a way that four satellites are always positioned in each of six orbital planes.
Each satellite transmits radio signals that are processed by the GPS receiver in your car. While just one satellite can’t help configure where you’re at, three or four can help determine your location, direction of travel and travel speed. This is done using a mathematical principle called trilateration. In order to trilateration, the GPS receiver must know that your location is to be traced by at least three satellites circling above. It also must know the distance between your location and each of those satellites. By comparing the locations of each satellite and your distance from each, and repeating this equation over and over, the GPS vehicle tracking system then configures your location, direction of travel, and travel speed.
The different types of GPS
The type of GPS tracking system you have dictates what happens next. If you have a passive GPS, it will store data until it is retrieved from the vehicle. If you have an active GPS, it will transmit the information to a central computer connected to the Internet or central computer, thereby providing real-time in A passive GPS tracking system will monitor location and will store its data on journeys based on certain types of events. An active GPS tracking system is also known as a real-time system as this method automatically sends the information on the GPS system to a central tracking portal or system in real-time as it happens. This kind of system is usually a better option for commercial purposes such as fleet tracking or monitoring of people, such as children or elderly, as it allows a caregiver to know exactly where loved ones are, whether they are on time and whether they are where they are supposed to be during a journey. This is also a useful way of monitoring the behavior of employees as they carry out their work and of streamlining internal processes and procedures for delivery fleets.
The Pros of GPS
GPS provides special satellite signals, which are processed by a receiver. These GPS receivers not only track the exact location but can also compute velocity and time. The positions can even be computed in three-dimensional views with the help of four GPS satellite signals. The Space Segment of the Global Positioning System consists of 27 Earth-orbiting GPS satellites. There are 24 operational and 3 extra (in case one fails) satellites that move round the Earth each 12 hours and send radio signals from space that are received by the GPS receiver.
The control of the Positioning System consists of different tracking stations that are located across the globe. These monitoring stations help in tracking signals from the GPS satellites that are continuously orbiting the earth. Space vehicles transmit microwave carrier signals. The users of Global Positioning Systems have GPS receivers that convert these satellite signals so that one can estimate the actual position, velocity and time.
What about Mobile Phone Tracking?
The development of communications technology has long since surpassed the sole ability to access others when they are mobile. Today, mobile communication devices are becoming much more advanced and offer more than the ability to just carry on a conversation. Cell phone GPS tracking is one of those advances.
All cell phones constantly broadcast a radio signal, even when not on a call. The cell phone companies have been able to estimate the location of a cell phone for many years using triangulation information from the towers receiving the signal. However, the introduction of GPS technology into cell phones has meant that cell phone GPS tracking now makes this information a lot more accurate.
With GPS technology now more commonplace in many new smartphones, this means that the location of anyone carrying a GPS enabled smartphone can be accurately tracked at any time. Cell phone GPS tracking can therefore be a useful feature for business owners, parents, friends and co-workers looking to connect with one another.
The technology of locating is based on measuring power levels and antenna patterns and uses the concept that a mobile phone always communicates wirelessly with one of the closest base stations, so if you know which base station the phone communicates with, you know that the phone is close to the respective base station.