What is GPS (Global Positioning System)?
GPS stands for Global Positioning System and is used as a navigation and positioning tool in airplanes, boats, cars, and for almost all outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, and kayaking. In the scientific community, it plays an important role in the earth sciences.
It is a satellite-based navigation system consisting of a network of 24 orbiting satellites that are eleven thousand nautical miles in space and in six different orbital paths.
GPS was developed by the United States’ Department of Defense. It uses between 24 and 32 Medium Earth Orbit satellites that transmit precise microwave signals. This enables Global positioning satellite receivers to determine their current location, time and velocity. The GPS satellites are maintained by the United States Air Force.
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