GNSS applications

Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers, using the GPS , GLONASS , Galileo or BeiDou system, are used in many applications. The first systems Were Developed in the 20th century, Mainly to help military staff find Their way, aim rental awareness soon found Many civilian applications.


  • Automobiles can be equipped with GNSS receivers at the factory or as aftermarket equipment. Units often display moving maps and information about location, speed, direction, and nearby streets and points of interest .
Main article: Automotive navigation system
A GPS receiver in civilian automobile use.
  • Air navigation systems usually have a moving map display and are often connected to the autopilot for en-route navigation. Cockpit-mounted GNSS receivers and glass cockpits are presented in general aviation aircraft of all sizes, using technologies such as WAAS or LAAS to increase accuracy. Many of These systems May be certified for instrument flight rulesnavigation, and Some aussi can be used for final approach and landing operations. Glider pilots use GNSS Flight Recorders to log GNSS data verifying their arrival at turn points ingliding competitions .
  • Boats and ships can use GNSS to navigate all of the world’s lakes, seas and oceans. Maritime GNSS units include functions such as “man overboard” (MOB), which simplifies rescue efforts. GNSS may be connected to the self-steering gear and Chartplotters using the NMEA 0183 interface. GNSS can also improve the security of shipping traffic by enabling AIS .
A GPS unit showing the way and tracking information that is typically required for outdoor sport and recreational use
  • Heavy equipment can use GNSS in construction, mining and precision agriculture . The blades and buckets of construction equipment are controlled automatically in GNSS-based machine guidance systems. Agricultural equipment may use GNSS to steer automatically, or as a visual aid on a screen for the driver. This is useful for controlled traffic and row cropoperations and when spraying. Harvesters with yield monitors can also use GNSS to create a yield of the paddock being harvested.
  • Cyclists often use GNSS in racing and touring. GNSS navigation allows cyclists to plot their race in advance and follow this race, which may include quieter, narrower streets, without having to stop frequently to refer to separate maps. GNSS receivers designed specifically for cycling may include sophisticated ‘street-aware’ mapping features, or may be oriented towards the progress of the cyclist along the route. This data can be used to calculate the number of rides. [1]
  • Hikers , climbers , and even ordinary pedestrians in urban or rural environments can use GNSS to determine their position, with or without reference to separate maps. In isolated areas, the ability of GNSS to provide a precise position can greatly enhance the chances of rescue when climbers or hikers are disabled or lost (if they have a communication with rescue workers).
  • GNSS equipment for the visually impaired is available.
  • Spacecraft are GNSS as a navigational tool. The addition of a GNSS receiver to a spacecraft allows accurate orbit determination without ground tracking. This, in turn, enables autonomous spacecraft navigation, formation flying, and autonomous rendezvous. The use of GNSS in MEO, GEO, HEO, and highly elliptical orbits is feasible only if the receiver can acquire and track the much weaker (15 – 20 dB) GNSS side-lobe signals. This design constraint, and the radiation environment found in space, prevents the use of COTS receivers. Low earth orbit satellite constellations suchas the one operated by Orbcomm uses GPS receivers on all satellites [2]

Surveying and mapping

  • Surveying – Survey-Grade GNSS receivers can be used to position surveyors , buildings, and road construction . These units use the signal from both the L1 and L2 GPS frequencies. Even though the L2 code data are encrypted , the signal’s carrier wave Enables Correction of Some ionospheric errors. These dual-frequency GPS receivers typically cost US $ 10,000 or more, but can differentiate GPS mode.
  • Mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) – Most mapping grade GNSS receivers use the carrier wave data from only the L1 frequency, but have a precise crystal oscillator which reduces errors related to receiver clock jitter . GNSS signal received using a separate radio receiver. By storing the carrier phase measurements and differentially post-processing the data, positioning errors on the order of 10 centimeters are possible with these receivers.
    • Several projects, including OpenStreetMap and TierraWiki , allow users to create maps collaboratively, much like a wiki , using consumer-grade GPS receivers.
  • Geophysics and geology – High precision measurements of crustal strain can be made with differential GNSS by finding the relative displacement between GNSS sensors. Multiple stations around Situated year Actively Deforming area (Such As a volcano or fault zone ) can be used to find strain and ground movement. These measurements can be used to interpret the cause of the deformation , such as a dike or sill beneath the surface of an active volcano.
  • Archeology – As archaeologists excavate a site, they make a three-dimensional map of the site, detailing where each artifact is found.
  • Survey-grade GNSS receiver industry include a Relatively Small number of major players Who specialize in the design of complex dual-frequency GNSS receivers can of precise tracking of carrier phases for all or MOST of available signals in order to bring the accuracy of relative positioning down To cm-level values ​​required by these applications. The most known companies are Javad, Leica , NovAtel , Septentrio , Topcon , Trimble .

Other uses

  • Military precision-guided munitions – Many types of ammunition, including JDAM bombs , Excalibur 155 mm artillery shell , use GNSS to guide them to their target.
  • Precise time reference – Many systems that must be accurately synchronized using GNSS as a source of accurate time. GNSS can be used as a reference clock for time code generators or Network Time Protocol (NTP) time servers . Sensors (for seismology or other monitoring application) can use GNSS as a precise time source. Time-Division Multiple Access (TDMA) communications networks Often Rely on this precise timing to synchronize RF Generating equipment, network equipment, and multiplexers .
  • Mobile Satellite Communications – Satellite communications systems. A satellite antenna (usually a “dish”). The antenna on a moving ship or train, for example, must be pointed on its current location. Modern antenna controllers usually incorporate a GNSS receiver to provide this information.
  • Emergency and Location-based services – GNSS can be used by emergency services to locate cell phones. The ability to locate a mobile phone is required in the United States by E911 emergency services legislation. However, such a system is not in place everywhere. GNSS is less dependent on the telecommunication network topology than radiolocation for enabled phones. Assisted GPS reduces the power requirements of the mobile phone and increases the accuracy of the location. A phone may also be used to provide rental-based services, including advertising or other rental-specific information.
    • Location-based games – The availability of hand-held GNSS receivers HAS led to games Such As Geocaching , qui Involves using a hand-held GNSS unit to travel to a specific longitude and latitude to search for objects hidden by other geocachers. This popular activity often includes walking or hiking to natural rentals. Geodashing is an outdoor sport using waypoints .
    • Marketing – Some market research companies have combined GIS systems and survey-based research to help companies decide on the use and patterns of roads and the socio-demographic attributes of residential areas.
  • Aircraft passengers – Most airlines allow passenger use of GNSS units on their flights, except during landing and take-off, when other electronic devices are also restricted. Even though consumer GNSS receivers have a minimal risk of interference. Other airlines integrate aircraft tracking into the seat-back television entertainment system, available to all passengers even during takeoff and landing. [3]
  • Heading information – The GNSS system can be used to determine heading information, even though it was not designed for this purpose. A “GNSS compass” uses a pair of antennas separated by about 50 cm to detect the phase difference in the carrier signal from a particular GNSS satellite. [4] Given the positions of the satellite, the position of the antenna, and the phase difference, the orientation of the two antennas can be computed. More expensive GNSS compass systems use three antennas in a triangle to get three separate readings with respect to each satellite. A GNSS compass is not subject to magnetic declination as a magnetic compass and does not need to be reset periodically like a gyrocompass . It is, however, subject to multipath effects.
  • GPS tracking systems use GNSS to determine the location of a vehicle, person, pet or freight, and to record the position at regular intervals in order to create a log of movements. The data can be stored inside the unit or sent to a remote computer by radio or cellular modem. Some systems allow the location to be viewed in real time on the Internet with a web browser.
    • Monitoring the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders , using a GPS anklet as a condition of speech. Law-enforcement officials can review the daily movements of offenders for $ 5 or $ 10 per day. Real-time, or instant, tracking is considered too costly for GPS tracking of criminals. [5]
  • Geo-fences can enable or disable devices based on their location.
  • GNSS road pricing systems GNSS sensors inside vehicles. Advocates argues that road pricing using GNSS permits a number of policies such as tolling by distance on urban roads and can be used for many other applications in parking, insurance and vehicle emissions. Critics argue that GNSS could lead to an invasion of people’s privacy.
  • Weather prediction – Measurement of atmospheric bending of GNSS satellite signals by specialized GNSS receivers in orbital satellites can be used to determine atmospheric conditions such as air density, temperature, moisture and electron density. Such information from a set of 6 micro-satellites, lancé in April 2006, called Expired of the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate COSMIC has-been proven to Improve the accuracy of weather prediction models.
  • Photographic geocoding – Combining GNSS position data with photographs taken with a (Typically digital) camera Allows to view the photographs we map or to lookup the holiday Where They Were taken in a gazetteer . It is possible to annotate the photographs with the location they depict by integrating a GNSS device into the camera so that they are embedded into photographs as Exif metadata . Alternatively, the timestamps of pictures can be correlated with a GNSS track log. [6] [7]
  • Skydiving – Most commercial drop zones use a GNSS to help the pilot to “spot” the plane to the right position to allow all skydivers to the canopies back to the landing area.
  • Wireless networking – A technique of mapping and uploading the exact or accurate location of a wireless network is called wardriving . It uses GPS to identify the location. Kismet for Linux is a widely used wardriving program.
  • Wreck diving – A popular variant of scuba diving is known as wreck diving. In order to locate the desired shipwreck on the bottom of the ocean floor, GPS is used to navigate the approximate location, and then the shipwreck is found using an echosounder .
  • Social networking – A growing number of companies are marketing cellular phones equipped with GPS technology, offering the ability to pinpoint friends on custom created maps, along with alerts that inform the user when the party is within a programmed range. Not only do these phones offer a wide range of navigation services. [8]


  1. Jump up^ “19 of the best smartphone cycling apps for iPhone and Android” . . 2016-01-16 . Retrieved 2016-04-29 .
  2. Jump up^ [1], Orbcomm
  3. Jump up^ Joe Mehaffey. Is it safe to use a handheld GPS Receiver on a Commercial Aircraft? . Accessed May 15, 2006.
  4. Jump up^ JLR-10 GPS Compass . Accessed Jan. 6, 2007.
  5. Jump up^ GPS FAQ.
  6. Jump up^ Diomidis Spinellis. Position-annotated photographs: A geotemporal web. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 2 (2): 72-79, April-June 2003. (doi:10.1109 / MPRV.2003.1203756)
  7. Jump up^ K. Iwasaki, K. Yamazawa, and N. Yokoya. An indexing system for photos based on geographical database. InIEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo, ICME 2005, pages 390-393, 2005. (doi:10.1109 / ICME.2005.1521442)
  8. Jump up^ [2]

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