Many times, we use technologies that we do not really know how they operate.
In our daily life, we use a series of devices without knowing their origin or all the human effort involved in their creation and operation.
The GPS is one of these technologies.
It is now usual for smartphones to incorporate GPS technology. Millions of people around the world are familiar with this positioning and location system.
For the most curious people, some questions arise as: How does this technology work? How are GPS powered?
What Does GPS Mean?
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a system used to position any object on Earth. It has an accuracy of centimeters or at least a few meters.
A GPS operator uses 4 or more satellites to determine any position. In addition, the trilateration method is employed.
It was developed, installed, and employed by the U.S. Department of Defense. Today the U.S. Space Force owns it.
What Are The Other GPS Types?
Russia has a GPS system called GLONASS. The European Union created a navigation service called Galileo. China also developed its own GPS and called it Beidou.
The Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) is a constellation of U.S. and Russian satellites.
It can transmit signal ranges used for positioning anywhere on the planet earth, whether on land, at sea, or in the air.
How Are GPS Powered?
There are different alternatives for powering the various GPS devices we use. Both the satellite in space and the handheld GPS that an explorer carries on his adventures. There is a power source for everyone!
How Are GPS Satellites Powered?
As expected, these satellites use the best energy source available to them: Sunlight.
However, the sun is not the only source they can use to power themselves.
GPS satellites are solar-powered. However, they have backup batteries for supplying in case a solar eclipse occurs.
In addition, each of them is equipped with small rocket boosters to maintain the correct position and direction.
How Are GPS Trackers Powered?
Most GPS trackers are charged by the electrical system of the vehicle where they are installed.
However, they also have the option of using conventional batteries if something unexpected happens.
It may be that the transport used does not have electricity or any other means of powering the device.
There are also devices designed to operate with solar energy in remote regions, such as offshore or islands.
How Are Manual GPS Units Powered?
The handheld GPS is mainly used by people who travel on foot or by bicycle.
They are the preferred devices for cyclists, hikers, and nature lovers. That is why they need to be powered easily and by the most conventional means.
- Standard batteries power these handheld GPS units.
- Alkaline, lithium, or lithium chloride (LTC) batteries power these devices.
Some devices use an alternative power source, such as a cigarette lighter adapter. How are GPS powered? In many ways, depending on the type of equipment we use, as I have explained above.