Outline • Why GPS? • What is GPS? • How GPS Works. • What you need to know about GPS. • What can you do with GPS? • Applications of GPS.
Why GPS? • Many features have addresses and landmarks that are associated with a destination.
Why GPS? • Many features have addresses and landmarks to get you to a destination. • However, there are many features that do not have addresses…
Why GPS? • Many features have addresses and landmarks to get you to a destination • However, there are many features that do not have addresses… • There are many MAJOR cities that do not even have STREET NAMES!
Why GPS? • Many features have addresses and landmarks to get you to a destination • However, there are many features that do not have addresses… • There are many cities that do not even have STREET NAMES! • And then there is the open ocean and sky…
Why GPS? Location, Location, Location and INFORMATION!!!
Pre-GPS • Navigation is critical!!! • Historical Navigational tools have limits: -The Sextant – contingent on weather
Pre-GPS • Navigation is critical • Historical Navigational tools have limits: -The Sextant – contingent on weather -Radionavigation (Lowrance): only works near land…
Pre-GPS • Navigation is critical • Historical Navigational tools have limits: -The Sextant – doesn’t work if it is cloudy -Lowrance – radionavigation: only worked near land… • The military had its own reasons for determining location… -Identify targets -Friendly fire issues -“smart bombs”
What is GPS? • GPS is not a single UNIT! • GPS = Global Positioning SYSTEM • GPS was developed by the Department of Defense • Funding for the GPS was contingent on making the system available to the public.
GPS is a SYSTEM There are three major components in this system: • Satellites • Ground Control Stations • GPS Receivers (or units)
Satellites • There are 24 satellites (and 3 spares). • The DOD knows the EXACT location of each of the satellites at any given moment. • These satellites have VERY accurate clocks on board. • The satellites continuously send radio signals towards earth. • The radio signals contain several pieces of information, including the satellite id#, a time stamp, and the satellite’s true position in space.
Control Stations • There are five control stations to monitor the satellites. • Control stations enable information on Earth to be transmitted to the satellites (updates and fine turning). • Control stations continuously track satellites, and update the positions of each satellite. • Without control stations, the accuracy of the system would degrade in a matter of days.
GPS Receivers • GPS units are referred to as “receivers”. • They receive information (radio signals) from satellites. • These radio signals contain important information… • Signal containing: • Time stamp… • Satellite ID # • Exact position of satellite
GPS Receivers • The Receiver knows exactly when the signal leaves the satellite (time stamp) and when the signal arrives at the receiver. • The Receiver is therefore able to calculate its distance from the satellite. -Distance = time x velocity -Distance = time x 299,792,458 m/s • The receiver knows the exact position (location) of the satellite (via the signal). • The receiver is therefore able to determine its exact distance from the satellite.
How GPS Works • Signal with • Time stamp… • Satellite ID # • Satellite position information
How GPS Works If the GPS receiver only obtains signals from 1 Satellite, then it “knows” that it is located somewhere on this sphere…
How GPS Works If the GPS receiver only obtains signals from 2 satellites, then it “knows” that it is located somewhere where these 2 spheres intersect
How GPS Works If the GPS obtains signals from 3 satellites, then it “knows” that it is located somewhere where these 3 spheres intersect (2 points)
How GPS Works A fourth GPS is required to determine the exact location and elevation.
What you need to know about GPS • Signal Accuracy Issues • Selective Availability • Tricks of the Trade • Current Applications of GPS • Future applications of GPS
Signal Accuracy There are 2 types of GPS Signals: P-code: (“Precise” code) • This is only available to the military and some selected public officials. • Very precise, not degraded. C-code: (“Civilian” Code). • Less precise • Degraded (by scrambling the signal) especially in times of conflict
Selective Availability (SA) • For national security reasons, the military sometimes degrades the C-code signal. • These errors are random • Errors be as high as +300 feet
Selective Availability • SA errors can put you on the wrong side of a stream, or even a different city block or street! • 300 feet is a lot of real estate!!! GPS Location Real location
Selective Availability • It is possible to correct for Selective Availability. • This process is called Differential Correction • Here’s how it works…
Differential Correction • There are already established base stations around Virginia • Surveyors have determined the precise location of these base stations already. • Each base station has a GPS receiver, which collects incoming (scrambled) signals. • The true (surveyed) location is then compared to the GPS coordinates. • The correction values are then sent to other GPS receivers in the field.
Differential Correction Base station w/ GPS receiver at known location: Differential Correction Signal GPS receiver in the field collecting points, routes, etc. Exact known coordinates differ significantly from GPS coordinates at this location = exact amount of error!
Other Tricks of the Trade:Averaging • Averaging: A GPS receiver can collect points continuously for 15-30 seconds. The receiver can then average all these locations together • This only works when you are standing still!! GPS Collected Points GPS Averaged Point “True” location
Other Tricks of the Trade: Satellite Distribution • It is better for your receiver to get a fix on “distributed” satellites, then poorly distributed satellites. “Positional Dilution of Precision” Good Satellite Distribution Poor Satellite Distribution
Other Tricks of the Trade: MultiPath Errors Try and stay away from buildings and other structures when using a GPS receiver Satellites may not be visible… This can introduce error…
Other Tricks of the Trade: Tracking Satellites GPS has worldwide coverage… HOWEVER… You can lose satellite coverage (or received degraded signals) in areas with dense foliage, in downtown areas, etc. You may also lose satellite coverage (or receive degraded signals) in deep valleys or gorges.
Other Tricks of the Trade: WAAS • The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) is a differential GPS system that is being constructed to support GPS accuracy in aircraft. • WAAS is supported by a number of satellites that emit signals to standard GPS units.
How accurate is a $100 GPS? • That’s the million dollar question…
Brand “A” Day 1 Brand “A” Day 2 Brand “A” Day 3 Brand “A” Day 4 Brand “A” Day 5 Brand “B” Day 1 Brand “B” Day 2 Brand “B” Day 3 Brand “B” Day 4 Brand “B” Day 5
What can you do with a GPS? • Collect and store points (WAYPOINTS) Trail heads, creek crossings, mountain tops, camping ground, data collection points (for research), etc. • Download the points onto your computer and integrate them with other mapping programs
What can you do with a GPS? • Collect and store routes (a series of WAYPOINTS) A route is a path between two (or more) Waypoints. The GPS “guides you” from point “A” to point “B”.
What can you do with a GPS? • The GOTO function Using the ‘GOTO’ function, the GPS will guide you to a predefined Waypoint (you choose which one…) using a compass and “pointer” You can program the GPS to “beep” when you are within a certain distance of the defined Waypoint
What can you do with a GPS? • Tide Tables Many of the marine GPS’s have built in tide tables. They will provide tide information and ranges for any date and any place…
What can you do with a GPS? • Speed GPS’s calculate your ground speed as you walk, run, drive or fly
What can you do with a GPS? • Elevation In addition to providing you with your latitude and longitude, GPS provides you with altitude information.
Current Applications of GPS • Public Safety • Environmental resource agents • Aviation • Military • Local planning • Surveying • Recreation • Business
Acknowledgements: Keith Clarke The Future of GPS