Global Positioning System, a worldwide MEO satellite navigational system formed by 24 satellites orbiting the earth and their corresponding receivers on the earth. The satellites orbit the earth at approximately 12,000 miles above the surface and make two complete orbits every 24 hours. The GPS satellites continuously transmit digital radio signals that contain data on the satellites location and the exact time to the earth-bound receivers.
The principle behind GPS is the measurement of distance between the satellites and the receiver. The satellites tell us exactly where they are in their orbits by broadcasting data the receiver uses to compute their positions. It works something like this: If we know our exact distance from a satellite in space, we know we are somewhere on the surface of an imaginary sphere with a radius equal to the distance to the satellite radius. If we know our exact distance from two satellites, we know that we are located somewhere on the line where the two spheres intersect. And, if we take a third and a fourth measurement from two more satellites, we can find our location. The GPS receiver processes the satellite range measurements and produces its position.
General Packet Radio Service, a standard for wireless communications which runs at speeds up to 115 kilobits per second, compared with current GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) systems’ 9.6 kilobits.
GPRS, which supports a wide range of bandwidths, is an efficient use of limited bandwidth and is particularly suited for sending and receiving small bursts of data, such as e-mail and Web browsing, as well as large volumes of data.