Global Positioning System (GPS)

Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies have revolutionised how we run the world. From smartphones to large marine vessels, GPS is used in a wide range of technologies and represents an impressively accurate tool for navigating different spaces.


To help you understand how GPS operates in some of the world’s most fundamental industries, therefore, we’ve put together a quick guide to its benefits.


Marine applications


GPS helps mariners navigate vessels, locate ports, and measure ship speed. It is vital that ship’s officers know the precise location of the vessels they are navigating in open seas, waterways, harbours, and ports, as this helps to prevent accidents and boost the efficiency of their journeys.


Other benefits include:


  • Navigators can save time and fuel with help from real-time information about their speed, position, and course.
  • GPS enhances the efficiency of container management across port facilities.
  • Mariners can use GPS data for locating navigational hazards, mapping routes, and underwater surveillance.
  • GPS enhances the security of vessels using the Automatic Identification System (AIS).


Aviation applications


GPS has long been used to ensure the safety of commercial and private flights across the world. Thanks to its accuracy and global capabilities, GPS delivers three-dimensional position information for all flight phases, including take-off, arrival, and airport navigation. Indeed, recent updates to GPS technologies mean that airport approaches have become much safer in recent years, even in remote locations where traditional location services are unavailable.


Here are a few other ways that GPS systems are benefiting airports:


  • They help navigators produce more efficient air routes, thereby saving time, fuel, and money.
  • GPS systems represent an essential component in aviation safety tools such as the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS). Such tools help to reduce the risk of aircraft accidents.
  • Aviation GPS is freely available to all.
  • Thanks to its situational awareness capabilities, GPS systems improve the safety of surface movement operations.
  • GPS can help pilots land planes when visibility is low.


Military applications


There are a variety of ways in which GPS aids military operations, including aiding rescue operations, providing tracking data, and guiding bombs and missiles. To give you a better idea of the benefits of the technology, here are a few key applications used by military personnel:


  • Navigation: Soldiers are often required to navigate unfamiliar territories. GPS technologies can alert them to the presence of enemy-held regions and identify lines of control.
  • Tracking: GPS technology can help military personnel track potential targets before they are identified as hostile entities.
  • Rescue operations: GPS helps military forces improve the efficiency of rescue operations by reducing response times and locating casualties more quickly.
  • More accurate mapping capabilities: GPS improves the mapping capabilities of senior military personnel, thereby helping them identify grid control locations.
  • Facility management: Most military forces manage large bases that extend across large areas of land. With GPS, commanding officers can more efficiently prepare base maps or update existing maps with information about core facilities.
  • Missile guidance: Most modern weapon systems employ GPS data to hit targets accurately and from a distance.