Global Positioning System (GPS)

GPS is a satellite-based navigation system composed of a network of satellites placed into orbit by the United States Department of Defense (DOD). GPS was originally intended for military applications, but in the 1980s the government made the system available for civilian use. GPS works in all weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day. A GPS receiver must be locked onto the signal of at least three satellites to calculate a two-dimensional position (latitude and longitude) and track movement. With four or more satellites in view, the receiver can determine the userís three-dimensional position (latitude, longitude, and altitude). Other satellites must also be in view to offset signal loss and signal ambiguity.