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GPS Definition

The GPS or Global Positioning System 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 is also known as the NAVSTAR (Navigation System for Timing and Ranging) and helps users track locations, objects, and even individuals.

While earlier, travelers relied on intricate maps and the compass to track and monitor the route to their destination, today, GPS technology has made traveling more hassle-free and safe.

 The GPS was originally intended for military applications, but in the 1980s, the US government made the system available for civilian use. It is maintained by the United States government and is freely accessible to anyone with a GPS receiver. GPS works irrespective of the weather, location or time of day.


GPS has become an efficient tool in the field of scientific use, commerce, surveillance, and tracking. It cannot be used in locations where it is difficult to detect the GPS signal, for example, underwater, subterranean locations, inside buildings and caves.

Civilian Applications include Navigation, Geotagging, Surveying, Map-Making, Tectonics, and Geofencing.

Military Applications include Navigation, Search and Rescue, Reconnaissance, Target tracking,

 (using optical sensor, dosimeter, electromagnetic pulse sensor, X-ray sensor) which is a part of United States Nuclear Detonation Detection System, and also, Missile and projectile guidance.

The GPS consists of 3 segments, the space segment, the control segment, and the user segment.

The USA is committed to a GPS modernization program to enhance its accuracy and civilian capability.



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