What are the benefits?


GPS tracking systems are everywhere these days, in our cars, in our smartphones and even inside tablet and laptop computers. But how did they come about and how do they work out where we are so very precisely, so as to be able to guide us to within mere metres of a desired destination?


The GPS system is a US military feature, used to track the movements of troops on the ground in distant places, to keep the authorities completely up-to-date with minute-by-minute actions. Soldiers on the ground could also keep their superiors au fait with developments almost as they happened. Co-ordinating manoeuvres and operations, even in the dark, were made almost effortless thanks to the use of GPS technology.


In 1983, while the GPS system was still in its infancy, US President Ronald Regan announced that the system would be made available to civilians once it was fully functional. He made the decision after a civilian plane strayed off its flight path and into restricted Soviet airspace and was shot down, killing all 269 people on board. The plane had strayed due to navigational errors.


Essentially each GPS enabled device looks for at least three or four satellites overhead. The US Military maintains some 24-plus earth-orbiting GPS Satellites in play at any one time, with three spares waiting in case one of the others fails. The aim is to have at least six satellites visible from every location on earth at all times. The GPS device then uses the satellites to triangulate its own position on earth, and in time. Once the mapping software is fed into the device it 'finds' its locations and begins to navigate from there. While some features of the GPS Satellites are not enabled for civilian use, being deemed militarily significant, civilians do get the benefit of three important features: absolute location, relative movement and time transfer.


The satellites orbit some 20,000 kilometres off the earth's surface and the signals sent to and from the land-bound GPS devices use radio frequencies that travel at the speed of light. GPS systems need to take into account a very accurate time reading in order to pinpoint a location. Using three satellites to find a location is acceptable, but this forces the GPS to assume that youre at sea level  no problem if youre at a low altitude, but potentially quite disastrous if youre working your way through the mountains! The fourth satellite provides a 'place in time' reading for the other three satellites, which sets true altitude for your GPS device, allowing you to safely and accurately navigate your way, no matter what altitude you find yourself at.


Not only can GPS devices help us to navigate a journey, but they can also prove extremely useful as a way to keep track of the location of a specific item. For example, many commercial fleet vehicles are fitted with GPS tracking units so that their movements can be tracked from a central hub. This can increase the accuracy of delivery information, and help to ensure the safety of cargo and drivers alike.


No matter how you choose to make use of your own GPS tracking device, they have changed the way that many people work, travel and run their businesses, so its hard to imagine life without them. Here at Back2You we offer a great range of GPS tracking devices that can help to protect your property and even reduce your insurance premiums. To find out more, take a look around our website or contact ustoday.

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