Understanding some of the details regarding Mobile Tracking and Monitoring Apps could be helped by a GPS Satellite primer. GPS satellites broadcast signals from space that GPS receivers utilize to provide three-dimensional location (latitude, longitude, and altitude) plus precise time. The acronym GPS stands for Global Positioning System and is a network which is made up of 3 primary segments: Space Segment, Control Segment and User Segment.
The GPS Space Segment incorporates twenty-four to thirty-two satellites which orbit the globe at a height of about 12,000 miles. These kinds of satellites are also known as as the GPS Constellation, and they are orbiting twice a day. They are not parked over one spot, they travel at over 7,000 mph. They are solar powered however have battery backup for when they are in the earth shadow. They’re placed so that one can find a minimum of 4 satellites visible from any point on the planet. Tiny rocket boosters on each satellite keep them correctly positioned. The satellites last about a decade until all their fuel runs out.
GPS Satellites are not communications satellites. Geostationary or communications satellites are parked in space positioned 22,300 miles above the equator. These kinds of satellites can be used for weather forecasting, satellite TV, satellite radio and most other kinds of global communications. At precisely 22,000 miles above the equator, the earth’s gravitational force and centrifugal forces are canceled and they are in equilibrium. This is the very best position to spot a stationary satellite. The earth rotates at about 1,000 miles an hour, and because of their high earth orbit the earth-synchronous satellites need to move at about 7,000 miles per hour to maintain position. This is just about the same speed as GPS satellites, but since earth-synchronous satellites are 10,000 miles further away they don’t move relative to the ground.
The GPS Control Segment is comprised of Master Control Station, an Alternate Master Control Station, and a host of dedicated and shared Ground Antennas and Monitor Stations that work with each other to make sure that the satellites are operating to specification and the data they send to earth is precise.
The GPS User Segment is composed of of GPS receivers taking the shape of handsets, laptops, in-car navigation devices and hand-held tracking units together with the people that make use of them, as well as the software programs which make them operate.