- Volume 41 Issue 5
GPS is the global Navigation Satellite System which is developed by the United States Department of Defense as an abbreviation of the Global Positioning System. The GPS uses a constellation of 24 Medium Earth Orbit satellites that transmit precise microwave signals, that enable GPS receivers to determine their location, speed, direction, and time. Following, the shooting down of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 in 1983. President Ronald Reagan issued a directive making the system available free for civilian use as a common good. Since then, GPS has become a widely used aid to navigation worldwide, and a useful tool for map-making, land surveying, commerce, scientific uses, and hobbies such as geocaching. GPS also provides a precise time reference used in many applications including scientific study of earthquakes, and synchronization of telecommunications networks.