History of GPS
The GPS System: Its Expansive History
The GPS, a space-based global navigation satellite system, was created by the U.S. Department of Defense and became fully operational in 1994. However, it was first developed in 1973 with the intent of overcoming the obstacles and limitations set upon us by previous navigation systems. The system consists of 24 different satellites that were launched into space between the years 1989 and 1994. The system’s development allowed people to accurately locate themselves and each other on the Earth or near it.
At first, GPS was only to be used by space stations and the government. For some time, only military GPS systems had access to the highest quality signals. The signal service experienced by civilians was purposely lowered. The Air Force used the satellite system to track planes and eventually learned to maneuver them without actual pilots in the cockpit. The Navy implemented the system in order to keep track of fleets whether they were on the water or under it. Over time though, limitations have almost entirely evaporated and non-military users now have access to GPS enabled devices that can be applied in numerous situations and for a multitude of reasons.
After the set inhibitions from the past were lifted off of civilians, the GPS market expanded to encompass vehicles, cell phones, laptops, and other every day machines. With such equipment, consumers today implement the system in a variety of ways. Many automobile owners use car GPS navigation when traveling whether the devices come built in or are portable. Others use satellite navigation on smart phones to find their way when on foot. People also use GPS devices to track their pets, children, and vehicles when not using them.
The fact is GPS has come a long way from its early years. Different people utilize it in a potentially infinite set of ways every day. The signals we reach today are stronger, the accuracy we achieve is greater, and the purposes we find for using GPS systems and devices are limitless.
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