Purpose of the GPS System & Why it Was Started
The GPS system is a global navigation satellite system that provides accurate location and time information anywhere in the world. It was developed by the United States Department of Defense in the 1970s and became fully operational in 1995. The GPS system has revolutionized navigation and has become an integral part of our daily lives. In this article, we will discuss the purpose of the GPS system and why it was started.
The Purpose of the GPS System
The GPS system was developed to provide accurate positioning and timing information to support military operations. Initially, it was only used by the U.S. military, but it was soon opened up to civilian use.
Now, the GPS system is used for a wide range of applications, including:
1. Navigation: The GPS system has made navigation easier and more accurate than ever before. GPS receivers are now commonly found in vehicles, airplanes, and even mobile phones.
2. Mapping and Surveying: GPS technology is used for creating maps and conducting surveys. It can accurately determine the location of features on the earth’s surface, such as roads, buildings, and natural landmarks.
3. Emergency Response: GPS can help emergency responders locate people in distress, such as hikers lost in the wilderness or victims of natural disasters.
4. Agriculture: GPS technology is used in precision agriculture to increase crop yields and reduce waste. Farmers can use GPS to precisely plant crops, apply fertilizer, and irrigate fields.
5. Geocaching: GPS technology has made geocaching possible, which is a treasure-hunting game played by people all over the world.
Why the GPS System Was Started
The GPS system was started as a military project by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) in the 1970s. The DoD needed an accurate way to determine the position of its troops and military equipment around the world.
Initially, the GPS system was called NAVSTAR, which stands for Navigation System with Time and Ranging. The system consisted of a network of 24 satellites in orbit around the Earth, as well as ground control stations.
The first GPS satellite was launched in 1978, and the system became operational in the early 1990s. The GPS system was initially used for military purposes, but it was soon realized that it had civilian applications as well.
In 1983, the Korean Air Lines Flight 007 was shot down by a Soviet fighter jet after it strayed into Soviet airspace. This event highlighted the need for accurate navigation systems for civilian aircraft. The U.S. government decided to open up the GPS system for civilian use, and in 2000, the U.S. government made GPS free for civilian use.
Today, the GPS system is used by millions of people every day for navigation, mapping, and a wide range of other applications. It has become an essential part of modern life, and its importance is only expected to grow in the future.
In conclusion, the GPS system was developed to provide accurate positioning and timing information to support military operations. However, it was soon realized that it had many civilian applications as well. Today, the GPS system is used for navigation, mapping, emergency response, agriculture, and many other applications. It has become an integral part of modern life, and its importance is expected to grow even further in the future.