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Limitations of the Global Positioning System

Living in a modern age world, things are a lot better and enhanced with the help of technology and automation. Technology and automation are being used in almost all fields.

GPS Versus Automation

The Global Positioning System or GPS is considered to be an innovative and advanced technology when it comes to surveying. It can accurately provide needed information about different locations and their positions. However, there are still some limitations that the global positioning system has.

GPS technologies have some limitations depending on the terrain of the place where they are located. If the GPS receiver is located in canyons, mountainous areas, or near tall establishments in urban areas, the signals from the satellites can be blocked. Sometimes, a position from a certain terrain such as the ones mentioned previously cannot be determined because too many satellite signals are blocked by the landforms or establishments.

GE Fanuc PLC and GPS Technologies Today

GPS technologies also encounter limitations when it comes to satellite geometry. Satellite geometry is defined as the relative locations of the satellite to each other. Satellite geometry is determined from the perspective of the GPS receiver. An extremely distant, crowded, and complicated satellite arrangement is considered to be poor satellite geometry, and this may affect the performance of the whole system. At times, GPS technologies are unable to return a position reading to the receiver due to the distance measurements coming from poor satellite geometries. Also, some environments are able to bounce the signals off them, thus prolonging the time required to reach the receiver, and increasing error to the results. 

The atmosphere also has its influence to the signals transmitted by the GPS satellites. At times, signal propagation is delayed due to the different phenomena that happen in the atmosphere. The atmosphere, in turn, also affects the accuracy of the results.

[photo credit: by Jimmy_Joe on flickr]

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