GPS, or the Global Positioning System, is a global navigation satellite system that provides location, velocity, and time synchronization.
The GPS includes 24 satellites deployed in space about 12,000 miles (19,300 kilometers) above the earth’s surface. They orbit the earth once every 12 hours at an extremely fast pace of roughly 7,000 miles per hour (11,200 kilometers per hour).
The satellites are evenly spread out so that four satellites are accessible via direct line-of-sight from anywhere on the globe.
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GPS is everywhere. You can find GPS systems in your car, your smartphone, and your watch. GPS helps you get where you are going, from point A to point B.
So what are the alternatives of GPS that have been developed by different countries and unions over the period, and are available for usage?
Be with us and let’s check the options for GPS!
GPS Alternatives for 2021
NavIC is also known as the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) and aims to provide the most accurate and precise location service to the users of the technology. It is powered by eight IRNSS satellites, of which one provides messaging services.
NavIC enhancements will improve the user experience for location-based applications and will enhance location tracking in dense urban environments where geolocation accuracy tends to degrade.
The space agency has partnered with Qualcomm, one of the world’s biggest chipset companies, to integrate NavIC on its new processors meant for budget and mid-range smartphones.
Xiaomi and Realme have already confirmed plans to launch phones with NavIC-enabled processors. It enables more accurate location performance, and faster time-to-first-fix position acquisition, and improved quality of location-based services.
Some more applications of NavIC are:
- Aerial and marine navigation
- Disaster Management
- Tracking vehicles and fleet management for businesses
- Improved Timing
- Improved Mapping and Geodetic data capture
- Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travelers
- Visual and voice navigation for drivers
The Quasi-Zenith Satellite System, a Japanese satellite navigation system, is under development. The system broadcasts GPS-interoperable and augmentation signals as well as original Japanese signals from an inclined, elliptical geosynchronous orbit.
Using this system, users around Japan and Oceania can use seamless positioning, navigation, and timing services, even in urban canyons and mountainous areas.
A government policy supports the project to promote the use of geographical spatial information linked to satellite-based navigation for a wealthy and secure life in accordance with the rapid increase of satellite navigation users nationwide.
To support that policy, JAXA is in charge of developing the first stage of QZSS in collaboration with related ministries and national institutes. Attention is devoted to making the system reliable and economical using legacy Japanese GEO satellite system technologies, not only satellite technology but also ground systems and operations technologies.
Galileo, Europe’s planned global navigation satellite system, will provide a highly accurate and guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control.
The United States and European Union have been cooperating since 2004 to ensure that GPS and Galileo are compatible and interoperable at the user level.
By offering dual-frequencies as standard, Galileo will deliver real-time positioning accuracy down to the meter range, previously not achievable by a publicly available system.
Galileo will guarantee the availability of service under all but the most extreme circumstances and it will inform users, within seconds, of a failure of any satellite. This makes it suitable for applications where safety is crucial, such as in air and ground transportation.
Galileo will provide a global Search and Rescue (SAR) function, based on the operational search and rescue satellite-aided Cospas-Sarsat2 system.
To do this, each Galileo satellite will be equipped with a transponder that will transfer distress signals to the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC), which will then initiate the rescue operation. At the same time, the system will provide a signal to the user, informing them that their situation has been detected and that help is
The Beidou system — named after the Chinese term for the Big Dipper constellation –- works on a network of about 30 satellites and competes with the US’s [Global Positioning System], Russia’s, and the European Union’s.
China started building the system in the early 1990s to help cars, fishing boats, and military tankers navigate using mapping data from the country’s satellites.
Now the service can be used on millions of mobile phones to find nearby restaurants, petrol stations or cinemas, and to guide taxis.
Analysts said Beidou was already outperforming GPS in terms of accuracy, but it still had a long way to go before overtaking its American rival as the world’s dominant geolocation system.
The completion of the Beidou network will also be of benefit to China’s military.
China has poured about $10 billion (roughly Rs. 74,474 crores) into the Beidou system, to keep the communication networks of the country’s military security and avoid the risk of disruption.
GLONASS is an acronym, which stands for Globalnaya Navigazionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema (translated from Russian), this means Global Navigation Satellite System. GLONASS is currently operated by the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces and provides real-time position and velocity determination for both military and civilian uses.
Development of GLONASS began in 1976 in the Soviet Union and was restored and finished in the early 2000s when it became a top government priority. Today, GLONASS has a network of 24 satellites with 3 orbital planes, covering not only 100% of Russia’s territory, but the earth as a whole.
While GLONASS was created as an alternative to GPS, we are now seeing major benefits to the two systems simultaneously working together, rather than independently, to provide precise location positioning anywhere on earth.
The inclusion of all 55 satellites available around the world between GLONASS GPS produces much greater accuracy, especially in urban canyons. The inclusion of all 55 satellites available around the world between GLONASS GPS produces much greater accuracy, especially in urban canyons.
Do you remember the time? When going to a new unknown area was simply hard work and sometimes a nightmare apart from it highly time-consuming. Do you remember the time when the weather was all guessed? And the time when finding a new route was a headache!
The invention of GPS and its introduction to the common peoples are making their life easier, this is because of the modern techniques of the GPS that has encouraged the use of this technology and make traveling to any location or place easier.