What is GPS System? How Does GPS Work – Easy Guide!

The GPS system is a United States owned program that serves users along with navigation, positioning, and timing services. Global Positioning System comprise of three segments like as space segment, control segment, and receiver segment. Now, from this article, we will introduce you about what is GPS system as well as how does GPS work in detail. After reading this post, you will be getting fully learnt about What is GPS System and How Does it Work with ease.

What is GPS System?

GPS has become a general name used in the navigation and mapping area. Whenever people show GPS then comes to mind is the capability to keep track the location of any object otherwise determines the direction of a place that is most accurate. The GPS system is global navigation satellite systems that offer the location, velocity and time synchronization. The GPS system serves the critical abilities to civil, military, and commercial user around the world. The GPS is kept to maintain by the US government and is free getting to access to everyone along with GPS receiver.


The Global Positioning System (GPS) is made up of a network of approximate 24 satellites placed into orbit by United States Department of Defense. Initially, GPS system was designed for military apps; but in 1980s, the government issues it as publicly for civilian use. The GPS is capable to work in everywhere over the globe with 24*7 time.

GPS System Tutorial Headlines:

In this section, we will show you all headlines about this entire article; you can check them as your choice; below shown all:

  1. What is GPS System?
  2. What Does GPS Stand For?
  3. Working of GPS System
  • Global Positioning System Elements
  • Proper Functionality of GPS Satellite
  • How Accurate GPS is?
  • How GPS Determines a Position?
  1. Why You to be Used GPS System? Reasons!
  2. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
  • What is GPS in computer?
  • What is GPS system on phone?
  • What is GPS in geography?
  • What is GPS system in surveying?
  • How many GPS satellites are there?
  • What is the principle of working of GPS with diagram?
  • How does GPS work in aviation?
  • Can GPS work without internet and SIM card?

Let’s Get Started!!

What Does GPS Stand For?

The GPS stands for ‘Global Positioning System’ that is subset of global navigation satellite systems. This is pioneering technology among of the other navigation satellite systems that are using by us.

Working of GPS System

Here, we will explore about a GPS system working principles with step by step along with its diagram, as follow them:

Also Read: 40 Features and Benefits of GPS Tracking System – Easy Guide!!

Global Positioning System Elements

GPS system is developed with three different components, known as the ‘Segment’ that is doing work with each other to serve the proper location information.


Space Segment:

The GPS space segment contains the more than 30 satellites networks that are getting to orbit the Earth at the top of 20,000 KM. These satellites have the ultra-accurate atomic clocks, which are being synchronizing with each other, as well as synced up along with ground clocks. Every of these satellites frequently emit the microwave signals that are gathered by millions of receivers that are getting to work all over the globe.

Ground Segment:

The ground segment has the responsibility the perfectly functioning of satellites and thoroughly GPS system. This segment contains the host of ground facilities, enabling with one Master Control Station (MCS), and another Alternate Master Control Station (Backup MCS, 15 monitoring sites, and 11 command and control antennas.

These several components of the control segment are doing to work collectively to keep track satellites, perform analyses, regularly monitor their transmissions, and commands to these satellites. In the brief, they utilize the tone of machinery to make ensure that the information transmitted from the satellite stays accurate and efficient to the higher possible level.


Receivers are the electronic devices that are containing the higher stable clock, receiver- processors and one antenna, which is getting to turn to the frequencies of signals with transmitting by satellites. And you can assume that thousands of military GPS receivers, millions on millions GPS receivers operate all over the globe for civil, scientific usage, and commercial.

Proper Functionality of GPS Satellite

Every GPS satellite broadcasts the unique signal to permit a GPS receiver to decode and calculate the proper location of the satellite. The signal transmits at the speed of light, and GPS receiver gets to know about this. So, it assists in the mathematical calculation to identify its proper position.

GPS receiver utilise this data to make calculation the location of user and appear it at the electronic device by helping of process called the ‘Trilateration’. This performs by getting to measure the distance to every satellite by total time duration; it obtains to receive a transmitted signal. For getting to compute 2D position and track movement, then GPS receiver unit should lock on the radio signal of a minimal of three satellites. Keeping remember that four or more satellite permit the receiver to determine a 3D position fix.

Further, GPS receiver is able to track eight or above GPs satellites; but this is based on your location of the Earth and time of the day. For completing the mathematical calculation, a GPS receiver utilise the proper position of the minimum four satellites. The distance to every satellite expects four critical values like as Earth latitude, Earth longitude, Elevation, and Time.

When GPS receiver detects the user position, then it is capable to calculate other parameters depend on your later position and time subtraction and distance like as speed, Bearing, Trip distance, Track, Sunrise & sunset time, and more.

GPS Transmitted Signals

The GPS satellite broadcasts the minimum two low-power radio signals; and these signals are tightened along with three kinds of data such as:

Pseudorandom Code: Every satellite contains the unique pseudorandom code that helps to detect which satellite is broadcasting the data. This is a most complicated code that consists a sequence of 0s and 1s. This is because; it shows as random electrical noise. Therefore, sometime it is also called the ‘Pseudo-Random.

Ephemeris Data: A GPS satellites broadcast detail about the real-time, location, and health through ephemeris data. So, by using of this data, it can estimate the proper position relative to other satellites.

Almanac Data: A GPS satellite broadcasts this data throughout the day. It enables details such as data in each satellite and state of the all GPS satellite constellation. Therefore, this data assists the receiver component track a region of eligible satellite and get a ‘Fix’ quickly.

How Accurate GPS is?

At that time, the GPS receivers are most accurate and their accuracy totally based on the many variables that are included the ionosphere, urban environment, and the present satellites. There are few concerns about the obstruct GPs accuracy as follow them:

Also Read: 55 Uses of GPS | Examples & Applications of GPS in Everyday Life

Physical Obstructions: The proper measurement of the arrival time can be skewed with enlarge messed like as mountains, buildings, trees, and etc.

Atmospheric Effects: The GPs electronic devices totally affected by the solar storms, lonospheric delay, and massive storm cover, and so on.

Ephemeris: In the satellite, the orbital method can be inaccurate or out-dated; even this is getting to become increasingly rarely.

Numerical Miscalculations: This may be a feature once the hardware of device is not planned to the conditions.

Artificial Interference: Artificial interference totally consists GPS jamming devices or spoofs. In the open areas, the accuracy of device is higher without contiguous big buildings that may obstruct signals. Therefore, this condition is known as the urban canyon. When this device is closed via enlarge buildings, then first satellite signal can be stopped, after that bounced off a tall building; When it is lastly read with device to output in faults of the satellite distance. Few issued faced by GPS system has been recognized and are nearby resolution. So, here the accuracy offered by the receivers being higher quality is excellent as compared to 2.2 meter level accuracy within 95% of cased & superior to 3 meter accuracy within 99% of cases.

How GPS Determines a Position?

The working of the GPS system is totally depended on the ‘Trilateration’ mathematical principle. The position is identified from the distance measurements to satellites. In which, four satellite are going to utilise to determine the position of a receiver over the Earth. The desired location is confirmed by fourth satellite; and other left three satellites are utilized to trace the location spot.

The 4th satellite is utilized to confirm the desired location of every of those space vehicle. The GPS system comprise of control station, satellite, monitor station, and receiver. The global positioning system’s receiver obtains the information from a satellite and uses the method of triangulation to determine a user’s accurate position.

Why You to be Used GPS System? Reasons!

Here, we are going to show many remarkable reasons, which help to take decision about you should be using the GPS system; below mentioned all, you can check them:

Also Read: Types of GPS Systems | Types of GPS Tracking Devices

Monitoring to Any Object: GPS system permits you to monitor of vehicle as well as other electronic devices in the real-time. What will be happened that GPS is placed in the item you wish to track, then you can get to know the proper location of that item. GPS can be used directly to track the movement and progress of deliver vehicle. As well as, if you wish to move the higher value assets, then you can be protected so by helping a GPS.

Ease of Accessibility: Today, GPS system is getting more popularity, so it is going to increase in the development of the application and software integrating GPS. The unbelievable advantage of GPS system is that objects and spots became more accessible as they ever were. You don’t have to need carry map or pamphlets along with the direction to arrive your target point. If you have a GPS system then it will help to cover all your location needs. As well as, it also permits you to find out for nearby spots in a few steps.

Keep Saving Time: GPS (Global Positioning System) delivers the real-time data that allows you to check the traffic updates. To keep waiting long times in traffic wastes the lot of time. For a business point of view, the lost hours are equal to liability that can cost them long run. Hence, GPS system works as a time saver in this scenario. It also serves the traffic updates, thus drivers can select the route as per the situation. Hence, GPS system permits them to arrive the destination by using the critical road, saving on fuel, and time as well.

Cost-Affordability: The satellites behind GPS are paid for, keep maintaining and upgraded by US Department of Defence; that means the system is essentially free of cost. But you might have to pay for a device and software to use it. Smartphone application, like as Google Maps that is using the GPS system is usually free.

Making the Communication: Most of people are going to use GPS for making the communication, whether at some point in your life or regularly. You may not have realized it. Whenever you try to book a cab by using mobile apps, then you don’t have to need make a call the driver to ask their location. Just you can check it via apps by helping the GPS. For this reason, this GPS system has applications in fleet management. To get summarize, GPS system permits you to make communication effectively.

Helping to Navigation: Today, the widely use of GPS is to get navigation systems. To merge along with map technology, it has been became the powerful tool for road vehicle and boats. GPS is capable to pinpoint a device’s location along with their accuracy and can be compared with coordinates; the statistics is most helpful for calculating a device’s direction of movement and speed. This information can be utilized to offer the step by step direction from Point M to Point N in the real-time.

Simple & Easy to Use: To get navigation by using the GPS system is usually very simplest and need less skill and effort, when it compared to conventional technologies like a Map-Reading. Just, you have to put destination and device will do the rest. Hence, Global Positioning System is also most easy and efficient technology to use for tasks such as surveying.

Safety: Mostly parents are going to use GPS system to keep tabs children and make ensure that they are safe or not. This same technology is also used by children to keep tract to their parents. Therefore, GPS system is also most helpful to keep staff members and other safe in the specific jobs.

Local Area Search: Today, most of people are going to use GPS system for serving information on the neighborhood area. For example, searching out that where the nearest hotel and filling station; as well as finding out the restaurants that are on or off for business. This is most helpful, when you are going to long route trip and search a spot to stop for sleep, fill fuel, food, and etc.

Traffic & Weather Alerts: One of the amazing stuffs about GPS is that it is all occurring in the real-time, that means you can get any notification if there is a any traffic accident or other kind of hold up ahead. If you are notifying an area where there is a severe weather occurring. Then it not just can this lesser your journey time, but enhance your safety as well.

All Time Available: GPS system is essentially operated by satellite technology, then it is 24*7 available across the entire globe.

Accuracy: The Global Positioning System is paid for, therefore it is updated and maintained by US Department of Defense; hence it offers always accuracy. Most of apps, devices, and software that are using the GPS system are properly regularly updated as a free. Cause of this, GPS and other related technology always provide information with accurately.

Monitor Health Parameters: Today, GPs system is also going to use to keep monitor the exercise and helps to amateurs to enhance their health and fitness; so it is most helpful for the professional sports men. It is also capable to calculate the speed, distance traveled, as well as using the information to get estimation about calories burned.

Choose the Route: GPS also allows you to give the choice of route in the real-time that is enabled flexibility. Then, you are able to select the route as per your certain needs and desires. When, by mistaken you take wrong turn then new path will be calculated by helping of GPS system. If your desired path is blocked with any reason, then GPS is most helpful to calculate the new pathway.

Defence Usage: While getting to use GPS in your general usages, the defence also employs the GPS system whenever setting the target for guided missiles. GPS system helps to improve the accuracy via providing the missile a certain set of coordinates, and decrease the collateral damage by less possibility of missile going astray.

Land Surveying: It is should be taken land surveying before the development or construction. Now, GPS has gradually converted conventional land surveying technology, because it is cost effective, quicker, and most accurate. It takes only hours along with GPS instead of day.

Predict to Natural Disasters: There are various scientific apps of GPS system instead of navigational mattes. GPS system is also used to help detect the structural problems in roads and buildings. It can also serve the prediction for natural disasters such as earthquakes through the monitoring of tectonic plate movement.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is GPS in computer?

The GPS system is a United States owned program that serves users along with navigation, positioning, and timing services. GPS system comprise of three segments like as space segment, control segment, and receiver segment.

What is GPS system on phone?

The GPS system is a radio navigation system that is going to use radio waves in between satellites and a receivers internally your mobile to serve location and time information to any software that requires to use it.

What is GPS in geography?

GPS system allows you to prepare the accurate information for maps and surveys, taking precise time measurements, and tracking position or location for navigation.

What is GPS system in surveying?

GPS system is most helpful for surveying coast and waterways, where there are some land based reference edges. The survey vessels merge the GPS positions along with sonar depth sounding to make nautical chart that getting to alert mariners to altering water depths and underwater hazards.

How many GPS satellites are there?

There are 24 different kinds of satellites going to use in the GPS system, which are managed into six equally-spaced orbital planes surrounding the Earth surface.

What is the principle of working of GPS with diagram?

In this article, already we have been explained above completely working principle of GPS system one by one; you can check them.

How does GPS work in aviation?

Aviators throughout the globe use the GPS system that helps to enhance the safety and efficiency of flight. Being its perfect accuracy, global abilities, and continuous, GPS system serves the seamless satellite navigation services that getting to satisfy various requirements for aviation users.

Can GPS work without internet and SIM card?

Of Course! Users are able to use GPS without getting any external data connection, because signal from the GPS satellites are receive only. On your device, the permission setting is called as device-only location mode.

Final Verdicts

Now, i hope that, you have been completely aware about what is GPS system as well as how does GPS work with ease. If this post is useful for you, then please share it along with your friends, family members or relatives over social media platforms like as Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, Twitter, and more.

Also Read: 25 Advantages of GPS | Disadvantages of GPS (Global Positioning System)

If you have any experience, tips, tricks, or query regarding this issue? You can drop a comment!

Happy Learning!!

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