The use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) has revolutionized air travel, ocean navigation, land navigation, and the collection of environmental data. Although a basic civilian GPS receiver can be purchased for as little as $100, the receiver is only the tip of a 12 billion dollar iceberg! This paper will discuss the history and basic operation of the Global Positioning System, a satellite-based precision positioning and timing service developed and operated by the Department of Defense. It will also describe the accuracy limitations of the civil GPS service and how accuracy can be enhanced by the use of differential GPS (DGPS), using either the free National Differential GPS system, or commercial differential monitor stations. Finally, the paper will discuss the future accuracy upgrades of civil GPS as a result of recent federal policy decisions.


Civil and Environmental Engineering


URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cenv_fac/29