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Research paper topic: Gps: The Future Of Navigation And Technology - 1872 words
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.. on, Charley 12, a Blue Force team member, tracks its own movement as it traverses the ridge lines in search of defending Red Force troops. When the enemy is sighted, Charley 12's onboard GPS receivers trace the sudden swing of the tank's turret as the gunner locks onto the target with a 120-millimeter smoothbore gun. Grant also points out that after the gunner squeezes the trigger, within milliseconds, processing software in Charley 12's instrumentation package verifies -- based on GPS coordinates the gun pointing angle, and the tank's known performance capabilities -- that the enemy tank is within the cross hairs and effective firing range of its main gun. An electronic hit signal notifies the instrumentation package on the target tank that a fatal blow is imminent. The defending tank's instrumentation package performs a simulated damage assessment, which tells the Red Force tank that it is destroyed.
The victim vehicle stops in its tracks. Charley 12's simulated round has just given the Blue Force its first victory in the brigade's June 1996 annual training exercises. Without a reliable navigation system, U.S. forces could not have performed the maneuvers of Operation Desert Storm. With GPS, the soldiers were able to go places and maneuver in sandstorms or at night when even the troops who lived there couldn't. Initially, more than 1,000 portable commercial receivers were purchased for their use. The demand was so great that, before the end of the conflict, more than 9,000 commercial receivers were in use in the Gulf region.
They were carried by foot soldiers and attached to vehicles, helicopters, and aircraft instrument panels. GPS receivers were used in several aircraft, including F-16 fighters, KC-135 aerial refuelers, and B-2 bombers. Navy ships used them for rendezvous, minesweeping, and aircraft operations. GPS has become important for nearly all military operations and weapons systems. In addition, it is used on satellites to obtain highly accurate orbit data and to control spacecraft orientation.
GPS is based on a system of coordinates called the Worldwide Geodetic System 1984, also called WGS-84, similar to the latitude and longitude lines you see on wall maps in school. The WGS-84 system provides a built-in frame of reference for all military activities, so units can synchronize their maneuvers. The GPS system was developed to meet military needs of the Department of Defense, but new ways to use its capabilities are continually being found. As you have read, the system has been used in aircraft and ships, but there are many other ways to benefit from GPS. During construction of the tunnel under the English Channel, British and French crews started digging from opposite ends: one from Dover, England, one from Calais, France. They relied on GPS receivers outside the tunnel to check their positions along the way and to make sure they met exactly in the middle.
Otherwise, the tunnel might have been crooked. Vehicle tracking is one of the fastest-growing GPS applications. GPS-equipped fleet vehicles, public transportation systems, delivery trucks, and courier services use receivers to monitor their locations at all times. The Global Positioning System is being used in another ingenious way; to guide people to their destination by way of a monitor in their car. Some car manufactures have added an optional GPS receiver in their new cars for a couple of years.
All you do is type your desired destination in and the GPS gives you turn by turn directions, or a detailed map on a four inch video screen. A couple of new developments in the system have come about within the last year. First, the GPS receiver can tell you when your turn is coming up. Also, the Lincoln-Mercury company has added a refinement to the GPS-based safety feature. If you are driving and you need emergency assistance, just touch the ambulance icon and the RESCU (Remote Emergency Satellite Cellular Unit) system sends a voice activated cell phone call to the Westinghouse Emergency Response Center (Cetron and Davies 110). The center then dispatches police, fire, ambulance, or a tow truck to the location given by the GPS receiver in the car.
GPS is also helping to save lives. Many police, fire, and emergency medical service units are using GPS receivers to determine the police car, fire truck, or ambulance nearest to an emergency, enabling the quickest possible response in life-or-death situations. In an interview for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Spencer Michels points out that Air Force pilot Scott O'Grady, honored by President Clinton, provided the most dramatic use of GPS. He was rescued by American forces, after he was shot down by a Bosnian Serb missile over Bosnia in 1995. O'Grady used a hand held unit to find his exact position and radio it to rescuers before hostile forces could capture him.
Mapping and surveying companies use GPS extensively. In the field of wildlife management, endangered species such as Montana elk and Mojave Desert tortoises are being fitted with GPS receivers and tiny transmitters to help determine population distribution patterns and possible sources of disease. GPS-equipped balloons are monitoring holes in the ozone layer over the polar regions, and air quality is being monitored using GPS receivers. Buoys tracking major oil spills transmit data using GPS. Archaeologists and explorers are using the system.
Anyone equipped with a GPS receiver can use it as a reference point to find another location. With a basic knowledge of math and science, plus a hand-held GPS receiver, you could be an instant hero if you and friends got lost on a camping trip. Another interesting way people are using the GPS is on the golf course. A golf cart is equipped with a GPS System that knows exactly where you might be on earth and, there- fore, where exactly you might be on a golf course. Your own electronic caddie gives you all the vital information about play that a caddie would have given you in the past. Information about the course is a golfer's best friend.
The key thing in golf is you want to know how far you want to hit your next shot, which determines your next club selection, says Kathy Speight of Skylinks. Skylinks is a personal computer attached to a golf cart which tells you your position on the course in real-time. It also tells you the distances to hazards and holes with an accuracy of one yard. Other useful caddie-like information is given, like how far it is from the pin or the yardage to the next bunker. It also says when long is better than short.
In the past, you have to spend time looking for sprinkler heads and then pacing off how far in front or behind your ball is from that marker, adds Speight. With the Skylinks System, you can just look at the information, see your yardage, park as close to the ball as you want. That's your reference point. Select your club and hit the ball. The GPS antenna on board receives signals from satellites. And from this, the cart's computer can work out its longitude and latitude on the earth.
The accuracy at this point isn't good enough for a golfer, so Skylinks has come up with something called pseudo-range correction. An antenna mounted on top of the cart receives a radio signal from the clubhouse, which has a more accurate, permanently based GPS station. Skylinks combines the information from this antenna to give us a system that is a hundred times more accurate than a standard mobile GPS. Using an on-board computer, its position is then combined with a program called Smart Map. Smart Map is a very detailed survey of every feature of the golf course -- every tee, green, fairway, and sandtrap, says Richard Beckmann of Skylinks.
Our position is then associated into the map and we know where we are relative to everything else around us. As the golfer finishes at one hole, the Smart Map program is triggered to give you in- formation about the next hole that you're playing. Every cart is monitored from the club- house using an RF radio link. Called Skyranger, it allows the manager to keep a close eye on the vital speed of play on the course. We can go in and take a closer look at a few holes and take a look at exactly what's going on, says Beckmann.
Red cars indicate that there's some sort of problem that the pro-shop manager would like to be aware of. So, if we go to the alarm screen, for example, we can dictate which cars we want to take action on. The US Department of Defense developed the GPS system for the purposes of accurate navigation and positioning. It consists of both satellites and ground receivers, each of which perform well-defined functions. Four satellites must be used in order to determine the position of one ground receiver. The first three satellites are used to determine the position relatively accurately, and the fourth is used to synchronize the time clock of the receiver with the extremely accurate atomic clocks of the satellites. There are other measurement errors that come into play, but all may be quite accurately corrected for using various methods.
In fact, the US Department of Defense purposely incorporates some noise into the system (which it is later able to decrypt) to prevent potential enemies from using GPS to develop their own weapons. GPS time keeping is used to set the clocks that regulate international communications and computer networks. These GPS clocks are used in banking for money transfers and bank time locks, among other things. They are also used for time keeping in certain scientific experiments. Most of the GPS manufacturers are not explicit about what kind of problems non- compliant GPS receivers will experience at the time of the roll over. Some of the problems could be: 1: The GPS receiver may not be able to locate the GPS satellites.
In this case the receiver will not work at all. 2: The receiver may take a longer time than usual, possibly up to two hours, to locate the satellites. Having found the satellites it may or may not display accurate dates, times or positions. 3: The receiver may display an accurate position but the date could be as much as 19 or 20 years in error. 4: The receiver may display a position that is not correct.
There have also been suggestions that particular problems will exist for some receivers during week 0, but that following week 0 they will operate normally. The GPS clocks will face the same kinds of problems with respect to dates and time. The future of GPS is as unlimited as your imagination. New applications will continue to be created as the technology evolves. The GPS satellites, like handmade stars in the sky, will be guiding you well into the 21st century Bibliography BIBLIOGRAPHY 1.
Thompson, Steven D. An Introduction to GPS, (Every Man's Guide To Satellite Navigation). ARINC Research Corporation, 1994 2. The Untold Story of CALCM: The Secret Weapon Used In The Gulf War. 3.
GPS World January 1998, Page 17 4. Dana, Peter H. GPS Users Overview. Available on-line at www.utexas.edu/dept/grg/gcraft/notes/gps/gps 5. Available information on-line at the United States Coastguard Navigation Center 6. GPS Joint Program office.
ICD-GPS-200: GPS Interface Control Document. ARINC Research Corporation.
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