GPS Tracking – What is it?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS was originally intended for military applications, but in the 1980s, the government made the system available for civilian use. GPS tracking works in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day.

How does GPS Tracking work?

GPS tracking satellites circle the earth twice a day in a very precise orbit and transmit signal information to earth. GPS tracking receivers take this information and use triangulation to calculate the user's exact location. Essentially, the GPS tracking receiver compares the time a signal was transmitted by a satellite with the time it was received. The time difference tells the GPS receiver how far away the satellite is. With distance measurements from a few more satellites, the receiver can determine the user's position and communicate it to our GPS tracking system

A GPS receiver must be locked on to the signal of at least three satellites to calculate a 2D position (latitude and longitude) and track movement. Once the user's position has been determined, the GPS tracking unit can calculate other information, such as speed, bearing, track, trip distance, distance to destination, sunrise and sunset time and more.

Accuracy of GPS Trackers

Today's GPS tracking receivers are extremely accurate, thanks to their parallel multi-channel design. Certain atmospheric factors and other sources of error can affect the accuracy of GPS receivers. Netcorp GPS receivers are accurate within 15 meters on average.

The GPS Satellite system

The 24 satellites that make up the GPS space segment are orbiting the earth about 12,000 miles above us. They are constantly moving, making two complete orbits in less than 24 hours. These satellites are travelling at speeds of roughly 7,000 miles an hour.

GPS tracking satellites are powered by solar energy. They have backup batteries onboard to keep them running in the event of an eclipse. Small rocket boosters on each satellite keep them flying in the correct path.