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Getting Around The World With A GPS System

The Global Positioning System or GPS system is a unique global satellite navigation system. It is a grouping of more than two dozen GPS system satellites that can transmit precise time signals to GPS system receivers which can help them calculate their longitude, latitude and altitude positions at any time and regardless of weather conditions. The GPS system is most advantageous for use by sea, land or air and also useful for land surveying and the creation of maps.

The GPS system was first developed by the U.S Department of Defense and was known as NAVSTAR GPS which means Navigation Signal Timing and Ranging GPS. A GPS system provides useful time references which is an important part of telecommunications. In addition, it is vital for scientific research for learning more about earthquakes. Although maintaining a constellation of satellites is very expensive, the GPS system is now open for use by the public free of charge.

From late 2005, more advanced GPS system satellites were incorporated which are able to transmit a second satellite signal called L2C. This signal is able to give more precise and reliable information. The Wide-Area Augmentation System generally is a very accurate GPS system signal that can transmit signals with accuracies up to within 2 meters. As more improvements are being made, the signal can even give details with an accuracy of within 1 centimeter.

GPS systems are used by the military for aiming different kinds of military weapons like cruise missiles and precision guided munitions. Furthermore, it can also help commanders keep track of the troop's whereabouts. Besides use by the military, GPS systems can also be used in cars, planes, ships and also in PDAs and personal computers. It is even used by surveyors for land surveys to locate boundaries.

As GPS systems cost relatively low; as low as US$90, you can find them in many hand-held GPS devices. GPS systems are also available for use on airplanes but they cannot be used while the place is taking off and landing.

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