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GPS Navigation Systems

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is the only fully functional Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). Utilizing a network of more than 24 Medium Earth Orbit satellites that transmit precise microwave signals, the system enables a GPS receiver to determine its location, speed, direction, and time.

Originally set up for military use, the government opened up access to this network for civilian use in the 1980’s. Some uses of GPS include the broadcast of accurate time around the globe using atomic clocks inside these satellites. Financial institutions uses synchronized time stamps to record transactions. The aviation industry currently uses GPS to set direct routes for planes to get from one point to another efficiently. GPS is also used in the enhanced ground proximity warning system that notifies pilots of the terrain while in flight thus greatly reducing accidents in that industry.

Ground-based GPS technologies have also come a long way. Companies like Garmin and Magellan have a wide range of GPS enabled products for a wide variety of applications from consumer versions that help drivers get from one point to another to professional GPS units for the trucking industry that inform commercial drivers of designated truck stops and guided routes around low bridges and hazmat specific roads.

The boating industry also utilizes GPS technology in a variety of applications from portable units used in small boats to stand alone systems that can connect to a ship’s autopilot navigation function. GPS units can also connect to a ship’s radar, sonar and marine radio system as well. Fishing is now a much easier endeavor with the use of GPS technology alongside sonars and transducers. Fishermen now have Marine technology at their disposal to really be more efficient in the hunt.

Google is currently supplementing GPS technology in the development of their driverless car using radar, sonar, laser and other technologies. The LIDAR remote sensing system scans and builds a 3D map of a car’s environment using light/laser. The 3D modeling gets more detailed as the sensors collect more data as the car is traveling the same route over time. They also mount regular cameras around the car in pairs to track distance of objects in real time. Radar in the front and back of the car is used to alert drivers and adjust braking and throttle based on the distance of objects moving around the vehicle.

There are a lot of interesting technologies that were originally developed for the military is being utilized in consumer applications today. You’ll find them on Newegg, your one stop shop for everything tech.

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