Here are some interesting gps facts — DID YOU KNOW?
1. The basic idea of Geo Positioning System or GPS was based on LORAN and Decca Navigation System, which were used during World War II to help in the navigation of ships and planes at a long range.
2. Doppler Effect is the key principle used in GPS system. The change in frequency of signals from the GPS satellites helps in identifying locations.
3. GPS was first used by US for military purposes. Their need of a global navigation system during the cold war triggered the introduction of GPS.
4. Before GPS came into existence, navigation system of Navy was being used. Their need of a faster navigation system for high speed air force operations forced them to think whether navigation using satellites is possible.
5. In the beginning, GPS was called Navstar. The first Navstar satellite was launched in 1978. Out of the ten satellites launched, only nine made it to the orbit. The first fully developed GPS satellite was launched in 1989.
6. In 1983, a Korean Airlines flight was shot down by Soviet Union as the flight happened to enter the Soviet airspace. This incident made President Ronald Reagan let the free availability of GPS to the public.
7. Though availability of GPS was made public, high quality GPS signals were confined to military use until recently. However, on May 1, 2000, this practice was taken off. At present, the GPS for civilian purposes is more accurate.
8. GPS was first introduced in automobiles in 1996.
9. With 31 active satellites in the orbit, GPS has become a part of every gadget we use, ranging from mobiles phones to cars.
10. GPS has become very popular that GPS shoes are available in the market now, mainly aimed at locating people with Alzheimer’s disease, in case they get lost.