Eighteen satellites, six in each of three orbital planes spaced 120º apart, and their ground stations, formed the original GPS. GPS uses these "man-made stars" or satellites as reference points to calculate geographical positions, accurate to a matter of meters. In fact, with advanced forms of GPS, you can make measurements to better than a centimeter.
Uses For GPS - Global Positioning SystemGPS has been used to pinpoint any ship or submarine on the ocean, and to measure Mount Everest. GPS receivers have been miniaturized to just a few integrated circuits, becoming very economical. Today, GPS is finding its way into cars, boats, planes, construction equipment, movie making gear, farm machinery and even laptop computers.
Dr. Ivan Getting - GPS - Global Positioning SystemDr. Ivan Getting was born in 1912 in New York City. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an Edison Scholar, receiving his Bachelor of Science in 1933. Following his undergraduate study at MIT, Dr. Getting was a Graduate Rhodes scholar at Oxford University. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Astrophysics in 1935.
In 1951, Ivan Getting became the vice president for engineering and research at the Raytheon Corporation. The first three-dimensional, time-difference-of-arrival position-finding system was suggested by Raytheon Corporation in response to an Air Force requirement for a guidance system to be used with a proposed ICBM that would achieve mobility by traveling on a railroad system.
When Ivan Getting left Raytheon in 1960, this proposed technique was among the most advanced forms of navigational technology in the world, and its concepts were crucial stepping stones in the development of the Global Positioning System or GPS.
Under Dr. Gettings direction Aerospace engineers and scientists studied the use of satellites as the basis for a navigation system for vehicles moving rapidly in three dimensions, ultimately developing the concept essential to GPS.