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Introduction to GPS

Why do we require precise positions? We develop measuring devices and sensors, and this is the reason why the positioning plays such an important role: where is a measuring precisely carried out? Where is a sensor installed? Solution: GPS! To be able to answer these questions, we are implementing GPS in some products. GPS is […]

Why do we require precise positions?

We develop measuring devices and sensors, and this is the reason why the positioning plays such an important role: where is a measuring precisely carried out? Where is a sensor installed?

Solution: GPS!

To be able to answer these questions, we are implementing GPS in some products. GPS is a worldwide satellite network which allows for the position determination through the measurement of signal propagation delays and timings. In the meantime, there are also other similar satellite networks, which are operated by various countries:

  • GPS (USA)
  • Galileo (Europe)
  • GLONASS (Russia)
  • Beidu (China)

Nowadays, many current navigation receivers support the reception of diverse networks, which can significantly increase the position accuracy. For very precise measurements, the so-called RTK systems are being used.

Data and their use

The GPS receivers transmit their data mostly via a (virtual) serial interface. To this purpose, the so-called NMEA messages are used. These include data about position (longitude, latitude, altitude) and the current status of the GPS receiver (for example, which satellite are currently in view).

In our products, we are linking these data with our measurement data, displaying these in our cloud portal. Thus, measurements and measuring positions can be assigned without any problems.

Limitations

GPS only works really well in the open outdoors when there is a good view of the sky. Indoors (or even in basement) the GPS reception is often very limited. Therefore, we use GPS as addition to other positioning technologies, such as mobile radio and WLAN. Many reception problems can also be solved through the use of intelligent software. In this way, a position can often be determined in front of the door – no reception is necessary in the basement.

And if the works council asks?

Some of our customers have concerns, as works councils are often rather skeptical of GPS and tracking functions. In this case, we can offer (almost) all our products without GPS and tracking functions. In addition, we are more than pleased to deliver informative material and advise you on the tracking theme, in order to clear up any misunderstandings that may arise.

Summary

GPS is a very useful technology, which has become an indispensable part of our lives – in industry, there are also thousands of applications. In combination with other tracking technologies, very precise positions can also be determined within buildings. Thanks to these functions, GPS will be implemented within many products in the future, in order to further simply measurements and assessments.