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Mo’ Saci Science: Magic and Science in Action

Saci is a mythological character in Brazilian folklore. He is a one-legged bi-racial youngster who smokes a pipe and wears a red magical cap. As business practitioners in innovative technology and science, we think it is critical to remain open to the diversity of ideas and people and never lose that child-like magic and curiosity that leads to breakthrough ideas.

In other words, give us Mo’ Saci in Science – MoSaciScience.

MoSaciScience is not Mosaic Science. If you are looking for the award-winning long-form magazine, Mosaic Science, click here.

GPS Technology: Mo’ Saci Science in Action (Magic and Science)

Let’s elaborate on the GPS. It’s called Global Positioning System. The system consists of a collection of satellites orbiting the Earth equipped to determine the location of an object, place, or people respectively. In contrast, GPS has been used for various purposes, such as military exercises providing direction to motorists for navigation. The GPS comprises three important segments:

  1. Space Segment – Also called “Satellites”—It consists of a Constellation Arrangement of 24 satellites that transmit radio signals (one-way) to the users, providing them with position and time. These satellites fly under the MEO (Medium Earth Orbit) zone and orbit the Earth two times a day. The operational satellites are a mixture of both old and new satellites to strengthen the medium of signal transmission.
  2. Control Segment –Also called “Ground Control”—It is a globally synchronized control station that ensures the satellites are orbiting the Earth and following the signal commands accordingly. In simple terms, the Control Segment in GPS monitors the satellites’ navigational data, updates it, and keeps an eye on its satellites’ health and status. Control Segment is a global network that works on the principles of TMAC—Track, Monitor, Analyze, and Command.
  3. User Segment – Best known as “User Equipment”—It is a receiver-type device (a GPS Receiver equipment), that receives the one-way transmitted signals from the satellites. With the received data, User Segment calculates the position and time to further map it on a three-dimensional coordinate.

Sounds complicated? Let’s put it that way. GPS is a utility that helps civilians and military personnel track and monitors the position and time of anyone and anything.
And so, you know, there’s a difference between GPS technology and GPS tracker—and it’s not rocket science. GPS technology is a navigational services provider whereas GPS tracker is a highly refined branch of GPS. Now, the question that must have popped into your mind is…

GPS Tracking

What is a GPS Tracker and how does it work?

As the name should ring some bells, a GPS tracker is a tracking device used widely around the world for the determination of location through satellites. It operates under the ‘Trilateration’ process—a technique that calculates longitude, latitude, velocity, time, and elevation. Trilateration works simultaneously with three or more GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) satellites to produce accurate results. The short and not-so-geeky definition of a GPS tracker is, that a GPS tracker is a device that connects to satellites, receives signals and tracks locations.

The majority population is familiar with popular uses for GPS technology, including mapping, directions, surveys, receiving recommendations, and tracking children. In contrast, Police, military, and various other government department utilize GPS apps for private and commercial purposes.

It requires a device for tracking placed in the vehicle to an asset respectively. However, the tracking device sends coordinates about its precise location and reports where the valuables and cars are. In addition tracks the movement of vehicles, individuals, and assets, respectively. Nonetheless, GPS trackers pinpoint the accurate location of the dispatched truck, route, and commodity transported.

A word of Clarification: GPS Trilateration is way different than Triangulation, which only measures angles and not position or distances.

If you happen to have a GPS tracker or want to buy one, here’s how a GPS tracker works.

GPS trackers come in various types, supporting the ways of their utilization. Let’s take vehicles, for instance, some GPS trackers receive power from the vehicle’s electrical system to operate. The device collects information from the car as it runs on the road and then transmits the data to the GPS receiver.

How are GPS trackers categorized?

GPS trackers are a need-centric, universal tracking tool that one can use for various reasons. Let’s briefly discuss each:

  • GPS for VehiclesGPS car trackers can help reduce the risk of vehicle theft. You can monitor your car, get real-time alerts, and much more by using popular GPS tracking apps and devices. Businesses also utilize GPS trackers for cars and vehicles– often referred to as ‘Fleet Tracking Devices’.
  • GPS for Dogs – Embedded in Collars, you can now track your pet’s movement without worrying about them being lost or stolen.
  • GPS for Elderly Care – Using a GPS tracker for Elderly loved ones, you monitor Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients when you are away. You can strap a GPS band around their wrist to have your loved ones close and protected.
  • GPS for Equipment Tracking – In environments where equipment mobility and security are paramount, GPS tracking offers an essential solution. From construction tools to medical devices, GPS equipment tracking ensures that assets are accounted for, reducing the risk of theft and enabling efficient management of resources.
  • GPS for Tracker Tracking – In GPS trailer tracking, the focus is on directly monitoring the GPS devices. Essential in scenarios where layered tracking is crucial—like secure trailer transportation or sophisticated logistics operations—this approach allows for the precise management of trackers. It ensures their operational integrity and accurate placement, crucial for optimizing trailer tracking effectiveness.
  • GPS for Construction – Construction sites are dynamic environments with heavy machinery, equipment, and workers constantly moving around. GPS Tracking for construction plays a crucial role in ensuring equipment safety, reducing theft, and enhancing operational efficiency. By integrating GPS systems, site managers can also optimize routes for transporting materials, monitor machinery in real-time, and ensure the safety of their workers by creating geofenced safe zones.
  • GPS for Emergency Response – In a distress call, a calamity, or a natural disaster, rescue agencies use GPS trackers to speed their response to people who need help or assistance.
  • GPS for Health and Fitness – We all have seen Smartwatches; GPS trackers can be utilized for monitoring your health and self. Fitness devices now come with popular features such as geofencing options and alerts.
  • GPS for Fleet Tracking – Logistics enterprises use GPS trackers to track the journey of their fleets. This way, the companies increase productivity and manage twice the demands without GPS.
  • GPS for Remote Workers – People working in mines, on construction sites, and driving low-frequency areas use GPS to keep themselves and loved ones back home updated about their locations.
  • GPS for Manufacturing – In the manufacturing sector, the logistical chain from sourcing raw materials to delivering finished products can be extensive. GPS tracking in manufacturing helps streamline these processes. Manufacturers can keep real-time tabs on material shipments, ensure the security of high-value goods, and optimize factory floor movement. Furthermore, when integrated with IoT (Internet of Things) and smart factory systems, GPS can offer predictive insights, helping in efficient planning and reducing operational downtimes.
  • GPS for OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) – In the OEM landscape, managing parts and equipment sourced from various locations is paramount. OEM tracking, powered by advanced GPS solutions, aids in overseeing the real-time transportation of these crucial components, ensuring timely and safe deliveries. Additionally, integrating GPS with the supply chain optimizes production schedules, reduces downtime, and fosters seamless operations from start to finish.

What are the benefits of GPS Trackers?

You have bought a GPS tracker and you have no clue what to do next. The best way to utilize this spectacular and foremost device is to learn about its benefits and link it with your need. The uses of GPS trackers are numerous due to their powerful nature.

Apart from the military, GPS trackers have become a must-have item today for their dependable features. Pilots, drivers, boat/ship captains, drivers, scientists, remote workers, and surveyors are among the people who use GPS for their daily drills. Telematics tracking GPS provides actual departure timings, arrival, stop durations, and traveling logs from start to endpoint. In short, explained task is done in the allocated time. GPS tracker records the driver’s exact location. You can provide the same to a client as working hour invoices. However, electronic proof will build trust and win customer loyalty for the next orders. The GPS fleet tracking software can be used for all assets, not only vehicles. If costly assets are on the move with GPS, you can track their movements. In addition, if you geofence them, you will be notified when it moves and reach to assigned location. GPS fleet tracking solutions notify you whenever drivers Overspeed the vehicle or take sudden turns by abrupt braking, which poses a risk. In addition, by keeping track of these situations, you will establish safer driving habits among drivers.

Top 5 benefits of GPS Tracker

It’s Safe – A user-friendly device that enables users to protect their loved ones, pets, vehicles, and precious items. GPS trackers are worth a shot!

Low-cost Surveillance – Worried about its cost? GPS trackers are not that expensive. In fact, the pricing for GPS models varies from need to specs. You can get the cheapest GPS tracker for about $15.99 online with basic tracking features.

Anti-Theft – Of all the benefits, Anti-Theft with GPS has topped the chart. Install it, hide it anywhere in your car, and go by your daily business without worrying about your car.

Real-time Tracking – One of the best benefits of GPS tracking is that you can perform real-time tracking. However, you may have to think twice while being indoors or in a remote no-signal zone.

People & Pets – Isn’t it great that you no longer have to watch over your kids, elders, or pets out of fear that they might get lost? GPS trackers have and are saving hundreds of lives every day.

Interesting Fact about GPS

Did you know that GPS was made available to civilians in 1989 by the order of then-president Ronald Reagan after Korean Airline 007 fell for entering the restricted USSR airspace?

Future of the GPS

Today GPS continues to become a prominent part of businesses, fleets, aviation, military, and related agencies. From augmentations, and performance improvement to modernization, you will find GPS beneficial for everything in between. The US Space Force is adding more satellites to improve accuracy for civilians and to offer more safety-of-life applications.

Throughout the years, GPS has proven to be the most dependable technology to benefit its users with precise tracking services. As we take steps towards prosperity, GPS ensures to be around us in various embedded and digitized forms. Learn more about the modernization of GPS.

BASICS OF GPS TRACKING SYSTEM

GPS tracking utilizes the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). However, the network consists of satellites sending coordinates to GPS devices directly about the current location, travel movement, time and speed of vehicle and object. Two GPS developers were awarded The National Academy of Engineering Charles Stark Draper Prize in 2003. Ivan Getting, emeritus president of The Aerospace Corporation and engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, developed the basis of GPS and made improvements to GPS’ predecessor, the World War II land-based radio system known as LORAN (Long-range radio aid to navigation). Bradford Parkinson, professor of aerospace and astronautics at Stanford University, conceived the current satellite-based system in the early 1960s and created it with the help of the U.S. Air Force. A GPS creator, Roger L. Easton, was awarded the National Medal of Technology on February 13, 2006, at the White House. In February of 1993, the National Aeronautic Association selected the Global Positioning System Team as winners of the 1992 Robert J. Collier Trophy, The most prestigious aviation prize in the United States.

  • Routes Accuracy: GPS-based tracking devices help to plan the fleet’s routes. In addition, it’s user-friendly and assists in locating and identification of drivers for specific tasks. At the same time, it saves the hassle, ensuring full customer satisfaction.
  • Less Operational Cost: GPS tracking devices assist in making cost reduction and provides data that is updated in real-time. However, With increased information and understanding of the operating fleet, GPS tracking provides accurate information that helps make strategic business decisions.
  • Fuel Cost Saving: Using GPS tracking in dispatching, you can reduce excess fuel use, save time, and cut emissions. Exemplify that GPS technology can be used to track vehicle speed. It helps to assess and advise fuel-saving behavior. On the road, you can share information and suggest shorter routes.

A GPS vehicle tracker can locate vehicles and retrieve other assets faster than in a blink of an eye. In contrast, you can use geofence around assets and vehicles with GPS security and get yourself notified whenever a vehicle leaves the designated area, moreover, if it’s moved outside of assigned hours.

With better trip management and electronic time logs, you’ll be able better allocate resources based on real-time data you keep your driver’s hours of payroll under control. Timesheet fraud occurs when drivers are paid for undone work.

GPS tracking systems might work in different ways. Commercial firms’ GPS systems are usually used for vehicle monitoring during journeys. However, certain systems can archive data within GPS called passive tracking. Moreover, systems transmit data into a database through a two-way GPS modem.

The GPS tracker on passive devices keeps track of places and records details of trips made at specific times. In contrast, it also updates device behaviour from the past 12 hours. Its information gets stored in a memory stick and can later be transferred to a computer. Furthermore, its certain features automatically download and establish a time. Sometimes it may be downloaded regularly during the journey.

Passive GPS is used to describe real-time tracking systems that send direct coordinates to a tracking website. A passive GPS is used in numerous commercial applications monitoring children and elderly individuals. Keeps the caretaker aware of the location. Contrastingly also used to monitor employees’ actions during work and the operation of fleets.

History of the GPS

The GPS, as we know it today, is a culmination of various technological advancements and strategic decisions. Let’s trace its evolution:

  • 1978: The journey began with the launch of the first Block-I-based GPS satellite in February. Initially produced by Rockwell International, Lockheed Martin later took over its manufacturing.
  • 1983: Following the tragic incident where a Soviet interceptor aircraft shot down a Korean airliner, U.S. President Ronald Reagan announced the intention to make GPS accessible to civilians once it was fully operational.
  • 1985: To further the system’s development, ten experimental Block-I satellites were launched, providing crucial data for improvements.
  • 1989: “Old Satellite Orbiting Earth”, one of the pioneering Block-II satellites, was set into orbit on February 14. Notably, the first of its kind to resemble modern-day GPS satellites.
  • 1991: A significant milestone, the first GPS satellite, was launched in August, marking the beginning of the modern GPS era.
  • 1992-1994: Management of the GPS system underwent a transition from the 2nd Space Wing to the 50th Space Wing. The GPS system achieved its initial operational capacity in December 1993. By January 17, 1994, the skies boasted a full constellation of 24 satellites, providing comprehensive global coverage.
  • 1996: U.S. President Bill Clinton recognized GPS as a dual-use technology. He established the Interagency GPS Executive Board, emphasizing its significance as a national asset.
  • 1998: Acknowledging the potential of GPS for civilian use, especially in aviation safety, U.S. Vice President Al Gore announced plans to enhance GPS. The upgrade entailed adding two new civilian signals for better precision and reliability.
  • 2000: A landmark decision, the selective availability was terminated on May 2. This move allowed non-military users to access high-quality GPS signals, revolutionizing numerous industries.
  • The early 2000s: Governance of the GPS underwent restructuring. President George W. Bush introduced a new policy and established the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Executive Committee, ensuring coordinated decision-making.
  • 2006: Progress continued with the most recent GPS satellite launches, solidifying the system’s presence and significance in modern navigation on November 17.

Throughout its history, GPS has evolved from a military tool to a global utility, influencing countless sectors and shaping the way we navigate our world.