Most people are familiar with GPS systems like those found on your phone or in your car. But did you know GPS is one of many satellite-based navigation systems? Designed by the United States military, GPS (Global Positioning System) is a commonly-used term for a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). Still, the technology is more significant than GPS alone.

This article will explore how GNSS works, the various types of GNSS applications globally, and how this technology has transformed life on our planet. Read on and learn how GNSS makes the world a little smaller.

How Many Global Navigation Satellite Systems Are There?

Outside of the United States, other nations have developed global navigation systems. Russia uses a technique called GLONASS (Global Orbiting Navigation Satellite System). The European Union uses Galileo.

These satellite positioning systems are versions of the more extensive global navigation system. If your navigation needs require travel across multiple continents, you need a solution that works with many systems.

One way to ensure your satellite positioning system works with multiple technologies is through simulation. CAST Navigation utilizes military and commercial-grade technologies to simulate the various GNSS systems and create a tailored solution to your needs. You can visit to learn more about their comprehensive solution set.

How Does GNSS Work?

Regardless of the type of satellite positioning system, they all work similarly. GNSS uses a constellation of satellites in lower earth orbit to determine where you are on the globe. There are three essential components of the system.

Orbital Satellites

Each GNSS system relies on a network of satellites orbiting the earth. There are dozens of satellites positioned around the planet, and each transmits a signal back to earth to report its relative position in space.

Ground Control

Each GNSS system relies on monitoring stations on the ground to verify the satellite positions in space. This ensures the network’s accuracy and verifies the precise location of each satellite as it passes overhead.

GNSS Receivers

A GNSS receiver is found in a vehicle transportation system, cell phones, and other satellite navigation devices. A GNSS chip receives the signals from the orbiting satellites. It can determine your position on the planet with great accuracy when it combines the signals from four or more satellites.

How Does GNSS Impact Daily Life?

Whether you are aware or not, GNSS is part of our lives in many ways. The turn-by-turn directions we use in our car, with our smartwatches and our cell phones, are all powered by a GNSS. Finding your way from point A to point B is easier than ever, thanks to GNSS.

Many commercial shipping companies rely on satellite navigation data for deliveries. GNSS can help determine the best route possible for their trucks, ships, and planes. Many types of construction equipment are controlled, in part, by satellite positioning data. Using GNSS in commercial and consumer applications provides more accuracy and efficiency in many ways.

Finding Your Way

Global Navigation Satellite Systems are part of our daily lives even though we often take for granted the system’s complexity. There are many GNSS types, including GPS in the United States and Galileo in the European Union. Each system uses a similar set of components in space and on the ground to determine a device’s location with a receiver.

GNSS makes it faster and easier to find our way around town and around the globe. It helps companies track shipments with greater accuracy and efficiency. This space-age marvel makes the world a smaller place.

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