GPSHacks.com

GPS Hacks, GPS information, GPS review, user guide and discussion forum.
Welcome to GPS Hacks. This site is not about hacking a GPS but everything you want to know about GPS including General information, GPS reviews, Tutorials, GPS How-to and much more. If you want to contribute this site please feel free to Contact us. What is GPS? GPS (Global Positioning System) is a "constellation" of 24 well-spaced satellites that orbit the Earth and make it possible for people with ground receivers to pinpoint their geographic location. How GPS Works GPS system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS satellites circle the earth twice a day in a very precise orbit and transmit signal information to earth. GPS receivers take this information and use triangulation to calculate the user's exact location.

How accurate is GPS?

The accuracy that can be achieved using GPS depends on the type of equipment used, the time of observation, and the positions of the satellites being used to compute positions. In general, recreational and mapping grade receivers using C/A code without differential correction are accurate to between 5 and 15 meters. Many people using recreational grade receivers don’t realize they cannot get highly accurate readings using them autonomously (without differential correction).

Most mapping and recreational grade receivers with differential correction can provide from about 1 to 5 meter accuracy. Some receivers use what is called “carrier-smoothed code” to increase the accuracy of the C/A code. This involves measuring the distance from the receiver to the satellites by counting the number of waves that carry the C/A code signal. These receivers can achieve 10 cm to 1 meter accuracy with differential correction. Dual frequency survey grade receivers using more advanced network survey techniques can achieve centimeter to millimeter accuracy.

Some people wonder why GPS is better than Loran or other systems that use ground-based transmitters. The accuracy of ground-based location systems such as Loran, which uses low frequency radio signals, is affected by signal distortion, varied terrain, local atmospheric disturbances and limited coverage. Since GPS signals come from satellites, the problems common to ground-based systems can be avoided.