Global Positioning System

World English Dictionary
global positioning system
GPS a system of earth-orbiting satellites, transmitting signals continuously towards the earth, that enables the position of a receiving device on or near the earth's surface to be accurately estimated from the difference in arrival times of the signals

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
Global Positioning System   (glō'bəl)  Pronunciation Key 

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A system of satellites combined with receivers on the Earth that determines the latitude and longitude of any particular receiver through triangulation. The distance of the receiver to three of the satellites is ascertained by measuring the time-delay of a predetermined radio signal (called a pseudo-random code). Errors in timing can be corrected by checking the signals against the signal from a fourth satellite. current systems can pinpoint the location of the receiver with an accuracy of around 5 m (16 ft). The system is used for navigation, surveying, and many other applications. Compare loran.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

global positioning system definition

A U.S. military satellite system now available for public use that allows those with a GPS receiver to locate their position on the surface of the Earth to within a few feet. A constellation of twenty-four satellites orbits the Earth, each of which transmits a radio signal giving both location of the satellite and the time of the transmission. Triangulation of three separate signals is then used by the receiver to determine its position on the Earth's surface.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

Global Positioning System definition

(GPS) A system for determining postion on the Earth's surface by comparing radio signals from several satellites. When completed the system will consist of 24 satellites equipped with radio transmitters and atomic clocks.
Depending on your geographic location, the GPS receiver samples data from up to six satellites, it then calculates the time taken for each satellite signal to reach the GPS receiver, and from the difference in time of reception, determines your location.
["Global Positioning by Satellite"? Precison? Coverage? Web page?]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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