Global Positioning System

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GPS Basics
Introduction to the system Application overview

GPS Basics

GPS Basics

u-blox ag

Title Doc Type Doc Id Author: Date:

GPS Basics
BOOK GPS-X-02007 Jean-Marie Zogg 26/03/2002

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THIS BOOK IS SUBJECT TO CHANGSE AT U-BLOX' DISCRETION. U-BLOX ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY CLAIMS OR DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OF THIS BOOK, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO CLAIMS OR DAMAGES BASED ON INFRINGEMENT OF PATENTS, COPYRIGHTS OR OTHER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS. U-BLOX MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED WITH RESPECT TO THE INFORMATION AND SPECIFICATIONS CONTAINED IN THIS BOOK. PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS LISTED IN THIS BOOK ARE ESTIMATES ONLY AND DO NOT CONSTITUTE A WARRANTY OR GUARANTEE OF PRODUCT PERFORMANCE. GPS-X-02007 Page 2

GPS Basics

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GPS Basics
• Introduction to the system • Application overview

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GPS-X-02007

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Preface by the author

Jean-Marie Zogg

My Way
In 1990, I was travelling by train from Chur to Brig in the Swiss canton of Valais. In order to pass the time during the journey, I had brought a few trade journals with me. Whilst thumbing through an American publication, I came across a specialist article about satellites that described a new positioning and navigational system. Using a few US satellites, this particular system, known as a Global Positioning System or GPS, was able to determine a position anywhere in the world to within an accuracy of about 100m (*). As a keen sportsman and mountain trekker, I had ended up on many an occasion in precarious situations due to a lack of local knowledge and I was therefore fascinated by the prospect of being able to determine my position in fog or at night by using a revolutionary process involving a GPS receiver. After reading the article I was smitten by the GPS bug. I then began to delve deeper into the Global Positioning System. I aroused a lot of enthusiasm amongst students at my university for this particular use of GPS, and as a result, produced various items of course work as well as degree papers on the subject. Feeling that I was a true GPS expert, I considered myself qualified to spread the ‘navigation message’ and compiled specialist articles about GPS for various magazines and newspapers. As my specialist knowledge grew, so did my enthusiasm for the system and the degree to which I became hooked on the subject.

Why read this book?
Basically, a GPS receiver determines just four variables: longitude, latitude, height and time. Additional information (e.g. speed, direction etc.) can be derived from these four components. An appreciation of the way in which the GPS system functions is necessary, in order to develop new, fascinating applications. If one is familiar with the technical background to the GPS system, it then becomes possible to develop and use new positioning and navigational equipment. This book also describes the limitations of the system, so that people do not expect too much from it. Before you decide to embark on this text, I would like to warn you that there is no known cure for the GPS bug and that you proceed at your own peril!

GPS-X-02007

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GPS Basics

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How did this book come about?
Two years ago, I decided to reduce the amount of time I spent lecturing at the university, in order to take another look at industry. My aim was to work for a company professionally involved with GPS and u-blox ag received me with open arms. The company...
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