Navigation Equipment and Methods - Global Positioning System


The GPS is a space­based, global, all­weather, continuously available, radio positioning navigation system. It is highly accurate in determining position location derived from signal triangulation from a satellite constellation system. It is capable of determining latitude, longitude, and altitude of the individual user. It is being fielded in hand­held, manpack, vehicular, aircraft, and watercraft configurations. The GPS receives and processes data from satellites on either a simultaneous or sequential basis. It measures the velocity and range with respect to each satellite; processes the data in terms of an earth-centered, earth­fixed coordinate system; and displays the information to the user in geographic or military grid coordinates.

a. The GPS can provide precise steering information, as well as position location. The receiver can accept many checkpoints entered in any coordinate system by the user and convert them to the desired coordinate system. The user then calls up the desired checkpoint and the receiver will display direction and distance to the checkpoint. The GPS does not have inherent drift, an improvement over the Inertial Navigation System, and the receiver will automatically update its position. The receiver can also compute time to the next checkpoint.

c. Specific uses for the GPS are position location; navigation; weapon location; target and sensor location; coordination of firepower; scout and screening operations; combat resupply; location of obstacles, barriers, and gaps; and communication support. The GPS also has the potential to allow units to train their soldiers and provide the following:

Performance feedback.
Knowledge of routes taken by the soldier.
Knowledge of errors committed by the soldier.
Comparison of planned versus executed routes.
Safety and control of lost and injured soldiers.
(See Appendix J for more information of the GPS.)