What Are the Components of a GPS Receiver?

What Are the Components of a GPS Receiver?
A GPS unit is helpful for travelers who like hiking, boating and even road trips because it allows you to easily find your position on a map and see where you are in relation to other places and landmarks. You can use the unit to get directions to a specific place and find your way back home again. To better understand how it works, you'll need to know about the different components.

Space Component

The space component refers to parts of the GPS used to determine where the unit is at all times. Delta rockets send the satellites into space and are part of the space component. The satellites are also part of the space component. These satellites reach a distance of over 12,000 miles above the earth and cover all areas, including polar regions. The satellites point toward the earth and determine where a unit is if you become lost, or if you're just using the unit for directions.


Control Component

The control component of a GPS covers the stations around the world where the GPS satellites are monitored. These bases include Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado, a station in Hawaii, a station on Ascension Island, another on Kwajalein Island, and one on Diego Garcis Atoll. The control component is responsible for ensuring that the GPS satellites are in working condition and functioning properly. Workers in the station transmit data from the satellites to the unit and from the unit to the satellite and ensure this data is transmitted correctly. The computers and people working in the stations are responsible for getting you to and from your destination.

User Component

The user component refers to all units and equipment used by you or anyone else connected to the GPS unit. You're responsible for entering the information correctly, such as the correct address or zip code to ensure that you visit the right place. It also refers to the receiver itself and all of its components, including the screen, antenna and motherboard inside the GPS. Other items that fall under this category include the equipment used to mount the GPS unit to a specific place and in some cases, the vehicle where the unit is placed.


Article Written By Jennifer Eblin

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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