The Global Positioning System
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is used for all kinds of purposes in modern life. It was originally created in order to help navigators find their way around on the wide ocean where there are no landmarks. It slowly supplanted traditional means of fixing a position on the ocean. (At one time mariners used the altitude of stars for this purpose.)
But the ability of the system to find locations with almost pinpoint accuracy has made it useful for navigation on land as well. Navigation systems are now regularly installed in automobiles and hand-held devices are a common site on hiking trails and even on city streets. Modern weapons systems have also come to rely heavily on the Global Positioning System (GPS).
At this site we try to explain in general terms how the GPS works. Click on the links in our table of contents to find specific information which interests you, or simply click the "next page" links at the bottom of each page in order to navigate this site in the order in which it was intended to be read.
Each satellite has specific characteristics.
The Satellites are placed at regular intervals around the planet in order to facilitate pinpoint navigation.
There are many applications for the GPS.