Sunday, December 12, 2010

Jenny Riebesell's GPS Blog

The GPS:
I. Introduction:
The GPS, or global positioning system is a satellite navigational system, mainly designed for navigation. Although the GPS seems like a generally new invention, the global positioning system was first a prototype in 1972, designed to advance the US Air Force, using a ground base satellite.  However the first satellite launched for this experiment wasn’t until 1978. The GPS is looked at as an invention by the Department of Defense, however the idea for the global positioning system came Dr. Ivan Getting.
II. Discovery:
A GPS receiver calculates its position by precisely timing the signals sent by GPS satellites high above the Earth. Each satellite continually transmits messages that include the time the message was transmitted, the orbital information, and
The general system health and rough orbits of all GPS satellites. The receiver uses the messages it receives to determine the time of each message and computes the distance to each satellite. Three satellites might seem enough to solve for position because space has three dimensions. However, even a very small clock error multiplied by the speed of light results in a large positional error. Therefore receivers use four or more satellites to solve for the receiver's location and time. The satellite clock, used for the GPS time relation is understood through very complex calculations, including position, time, and which satellite the signal is picked up by due to distance from the GPS. Several different extremely complex calculations work together to navigate the GPS in relation of the satellite above. On of the less complex calculations is the one below explain how to calculate the distance from each different satellite to one GPS.

III. Biography of Investigator:
Dr. Ivan Getting was born in 1912 in New York City. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an Edison Scholar, receiving his Bachelor of Science in 1933. In 1960, his proposed technique was among the most advanced forms of navigational technology in the world, and its concepts were crucial stepping-stones in the development of the Global Positioning System or GPS. Since this invention was primarily designed for the Air Force, after Dr. Ivan Getting’s death in 2003, he was elected into the Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers Hall of Fame at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. This was one among his many awards and recognitions he received through out his life span, including National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2004.

IV. Impact on World/ Humanity:
GPS is used for business purposes for many different reasons.  It has helped our business world become more successful.  Many GPS products are being used by businesses and government agencies to track their vehicle locations using wireless communications. Some GPS receivers have been integrated into radios and cell phones. GPS are just as big a part of land navigation as they are sea and air navigation. Many pilots are turning to GPS as a supplemental navigation aid for their aircraft. GPS is being used to help parents find and keep track of their children and is being installed as a location device in cars and in cell phones to assist people in mapping and directions. Police officers also benefit from GPS technology as an aid to locate and keep track of dangerous criminals, helping to guard against escaped or missing dangerous offenders.

V.  Journal Article:
In the Journal Article, GPS-Based Information System for Vehicles it helps further explain the idea of the GPS. The global positioning system is explained as an electronic tour guide in terms of cars, however through learning all the extreme math and science that goes into this, behind this tour guide is so much more. It is a highly compact machine with multifarious calculations all based on four major satellites to help further the advancement of navigation for society.
VI. Bibliography:
1. Bellis, Mary. "History of the Global Positioning System or GPS." Inventors. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. <>.
2. "Details of the GPS Position Calculation." Penn State - Information Technology Services - Courses Server. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. <>.
3. "Dr. Ivan Getting." Our History: Dr. Ivan Getting. 7 Mar. 2001. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. <>.
4. Schaphorst, Richard A. "GPS-based Information System for Vehicle." Google. 16 Jan. 1998. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. < of gps&printsec=abstract#v=onepage&q=invention of gps&f=false>.

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