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Trilateration versus Triangulation – How GPS Receivers Work

Trilateration versus Triangulation – How GPS Receivers Work

GPS Receivers Use Trilateration

Have you at any point thought about how your GPS beneficiary functions? They utilize a strategy called trilateration.

Despite how GPS receivers are frequently mistaken for triangulation (which estimates points), they truly don’t use edges by any stretch of the imagination.

Trilateration includes measuring distances.

Let’s take a look into this with a bit more detail.

Trilateration Measures Distance, Not Angles

How does the GPS pinpoint your area using trilateration?

Using a straightforward two-dimensional model, we should envision we have three GPS satellites each with a realized position in space.

All that satellites do is broadcast a signal for your GPS receiver to pick up with a specific time and distance.

For instance, the primary satellite communicates a sign that in the end hits your GPS collector. We don’t have a clue about the edge, yet we do know the separation. That is the reason this separation shapes a hover equivalent every which way.

This implies your GPS position could be anyplace on this hover at this particular range.

What happens when your GPS receives a second signal?

Again, this separation is similarly communicated every which way until it hits your GPS beneficiary. This implies the separation could be anyplace in that circle.

Be that as it may, this time, we have two known good ways from two satellites. With two signals, the exact position could be any of the two focuses where the circles cross.

Since we have a third satellite, it uncovers your actual area where every one of the three circles crosses.

Using three separations, trilateration can pinpoint an exact area. Each satellite is at the focal point of a circle and where they all meet is the situation of the GPS recipient.

As the situation of the GPS collector moves, the sweep of each circle (separation) will likewise change.

In any case, the fact of the matter is in our three-dimensional world that GPS satellites communicate flags as a circle.

Each satellite is at the focal point of a sphere.

Where all spheres meet decides the situation of the GPS receiver.

READ MORE: GPS Accuracy: HDOP, PDOP, GDOP, Multipath & the Atmosphere

Triangulation Measures Angles, Not Distance

On the other hand, surveyors use triangulation to measure unknown distances. They do this by establishing a baseline length.

Triangulation Measures Angles, Not Distance

From each point, surveyors measure angles of distant points use instruments such as theodolites. When we know the lengths and angles, triangulation determines the distances by forming triangles, as shown in the diagram above.

For example, surveyors gathered approximately 26,000 stations from Meade’s Ranch in Kansas to create the North American Datum of 1927 (NAD27). But the Global Positioning System uses the World Geodetic Survey (WGS84) to reference positions

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