Global Positioning System (GPS)

Global Positioning System (GPS) is a navigation system that uses signals from satellites to determine the location of a receiver. GPS satellites constantly send out a signal that contains their position and the exact time. A GPS receiver captures the signal from at least four satellites. It then determines its own coordinates by taking into account the time it took to receive the signal. The receiver’s location can then be shown on a moving map display or sent to some other system (e.g., vehicle guidance system).

GPS receivers can be built into dedicated devices (for example, independent navigation systems), but they are often also integrated into cars, phones, and watches.

GPS is owned by the United States Government and operated by the United States Space Force.