HOW DO GPS TRACKERS WORK?

Sean Horan3608 comments

Introduction

One of the most impactful innovations of the modern world has been GPS tracking. The thought of pulling out a map or memorizing directions seems nothing more than a distant memory these days. Although GPS tracking affects our daily lives, most of us do not know how it works or why they would even need to know. In this article, you will learn exactly how a GPS calculates its location and communicates this info back to you.

HOW DO GPS TRACKERS FIND THEIR LOCATION?

GPS trackers use a method called Trilateration to measure the distance of a point. Unlike triangulation, which uses the measurement of angles to determine location, trilateration uses the geometry of spheres to measure the distance between the tracker and the satellites. Global navigation satellite system (GNSS) is a general term describing any satellite constellation that provides positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services on a global or regional basis. The United States utilizes GPS, which is the most prevalent GNSS, and trilateration requires three or more satellites using precise clocks to measure the time it takes to ping the device which is then translated to distance. With three satellites providing this information the device can calculate the two intersection points, there being one in space and one on the Earth’s surface (Your Location). With the distance of a 4th satellite, your precise coordinates can be calculated without error.

Each satellite can calculate the distance. You can visualize a sphere around the satellite where the radii are the distance between the satellite and the tracker. The point where all 4 spheres intersect is the precise location of the GPS device.


Now that your device knows its location, it needs to communicate this data to a cell phone, mobile app, computer, etc., where the customer can make use of it. As long as a GPS tracker is receiving satellite signal it can store its location data in its internal memory buffer but to transmit that information remotely requires a SIM card.

 

 

 

The GPS device installed on the vehicle sends location data to the cell network. That data is broadcasted to the server hosting the web app associated with the device which can then be accessed by the client.


A GPS tracker’s operating system is simplistic with limited functionalities such as:

    • Receiving commands
    • Transmitting data:
      • Location
      • Speed
      • Motion
      • Directional

The features and tools used by clients to enhance their experience and capabilities are provided by the web app and can vary based on company. Optimus has a suite of helpful features to give you the best user experience:

    • Geofencing
    • Engine Cut off
    • Alerts:
      • Movement
      • Speeding
      • Power off
      • Harsh Braking/Accelerating/Turning
    • Detailed Reports
    • Historical Data
    • Send Commands:
      • Reporting frequency
      • Poll your position


CONCLUSION

The GPS satellites orbiting our planet have changed the course of history. With the genius of Trilateration and the power of GPS technology, ordinary people can tap into a system that yields the entire globe in the palm of your hand. Providing you with a bird’s eye view of all things dear to you and of value. Compliment that with Optimus Tracking’s top tier application and features. Get started today and protect your assets.

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