Technology Engineered for Emergency Response May Be Used for Tracking Smartphones. GPS tracking, cell phone GPS and mobile phone tracker software packages are drawing interest from potential customers, cellular telephone companies and program makers. The most up to date mobile phones feature GPS location features to track telephone position.
GPS receivers, whether within a smartphone, or perhaps a specific Portable gps tracking device, compute location by way of accurately timing the signals transferred by GPS satellites. This critical information consists of the time the message was sent, precise orbital data (formally referred to as the ephemeris), as well as the basic system condition and approximated orbits of all GPS satellites (technically called the almanac). GPS receivers often take a long time to become ready to use after being turned on because it must acquire some basic information in addition to capturing GPS satellite signals. This slow start is sometimes caused if the GPS cell phone has been turned off for days or weeks, or has been transported a far distance while unused for. The GPS must update its almanac and ephemeris data and store it in memory. The GPS almanac is a set of data that every GPS satellite transmits. When a GPS receiver has current almanac data in memory, it can acquire signals and compute initial location more quickly.
GPS Hot Start is whenever the GPS enabled mobile phone remembers its last identified position, the satellites that were in range before, as well as the almanac data in memory, and tries to lock onto the same satellites and compute a brand new position based upon the previous information. This is almost always the quickest GPS lock but Hot Start only works if the phone is in the same general area as when the GPS was last turned off. GPS Warm Start is the term for whenever the GPS enabled handset keeps its last known location, and almanac used, but not which satellites were in view. It resets and makes an attempt to find satellite signals and calculates a brand new location. The GPS receiver narrows the choice of which satellites toseek since it kept its last known position and the almanac data helps determine which satellites are in range. The Warm Start will take more time than the Hot Start but not as long as a Cold Start. With GPS Cold Start, the device dumps all the previous data, and attempts to find satellites and obtain a GPS lock. This takes the longest since there is no known reference data. The GPS enabled cell phone receiver must attempt to lock onto a satellite transmission from any accessible satellites.
To be able to get better GPS lock times cell phone manufacturers and wireless operators developed Assisted GPS technology. This downloads the ephemeris helping triangulate the mobile phone basic location. GPS Receivers can get a quicker lock in exchange for a few kilobytes of data transmission. Assisted GPS, also referred to as A-GPS or AGPS, improves the performance of standard GPS in mobile phones connected to the cellular network. In the US Sprint, Nextel, Verizon Wireless, and Alltel all use Assisted GPS. This is a method of using the cellular network to accelerate acquisition of GPS satellites.
A-GPS assists location tracking functions of smartphones (and other connected devices) in two ways:
The first method is by helping to secure a faster “time to first fix” (TTFF). AGPS gets and stores data about satellite position via the cellular network and so the location information does not need to be downloaded via the satellite.
The next approach is by helping position mobile phones when GPS signals are weak or not available. Since GPS satellite signals may be interfered with by tall structures, and do not go through building interiors well A-GPS uses proximity to cellular towers to approximate location when GPS signals are not accessible.
If satellite signals are not available, or accuracy is less important than life of the battery, applying Cell-ID is a viable substitute to GPS cell phone tracking. The position of the cell phone might be approximated by the cellular network cell id, that identifies the cell tower the smartphone is connected to. By understanding the position of the tower, then you can know approximately the location where the smartphone will be. Nonetheless, a tower can cover a huge area, from a few hundred meters, in higher populationdensity regions, to several kilometers in lower density areas. This is the reason location CellID accuracy is lower than GPS accuracy. Even so monitoring from CellID still gives you a truly good alternative.
Another method of determining smartphone location is Triangulation or Mobile Location Services (MLS). Cell Tower Triangulation utilizes signal analysis data to calculate the time it takes signals traveling from your cellular phone to at least three cell towers to calculate location.