GPS Alternatives For Next Generation Navigation will be described in this article. The Global Positioning System (GPS) contains become the de facto standard and is essentially synonymous with it (GNSS). GPS, the oldest navigation system, contributes to the problem. It was started in 1978 by the US Military. However, there are additional navigation systems, including GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, Quasi-Zenith, and the recently unveiled NavIC by India. Hence, in this post, we take a close look at all of the GPS alternatives and contrast them point by point. We have covered the coverage, orbital height, precision, and many other characteristics of a satellite navigation system.
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The European Union opted to create its own GNSS because most large nations already had satellite navigation systems. They began the work in 2005, and finally, in 2016, the Galileo constellation went live. Like GLONASS and GPS, Galileo is a global navigation satellite system. The constellation currently consists of 22 active satellites orbiting the Earth.
By the end of this year, the EU is attempting to double the number of satellites to 30. Galileo and GPS have nearly identical working mechanisms, however Galileo has a slightly higher altitude. Having said that, there is the fact that in recent years, Galileo has experienced some issues with Atomic clocks and poor communications. Galileo is another worldwide navigation satellite system that will improve until it reaches Full Operational Capability (FOC) in 2020. Thereafter, it will become a reliable substitute to GPS.
When it comes to coverage and precision, GLONASS is the only satellite navigation system that comes close to GPS. It has been in use since 1995 and is developed and managed by Russia. Compared to GPS’s 31 satellites, GLONASS has a constellation of 24 satellites. More than 20 satellites are required for a worldwide navigation satellite system to function, and Russia has maintained the constellation since 2010.
Except from that, both GLONASS and GPS have roughly the same orbital height and period, therefore, in some sense, both are somewhat the same. GLONASS has a position precision of 5–10 metres, which is quite good and comparable to GPS’s 4–7 metres. Of course, using local cellular triangulation improves the position significantly. GLONASS, a Russian satellite navigation system, is second only to GPS in terms of functionality.
The Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) is a regional satellite navigation system created by Japan that is remarkably similar to India’s NavIC. QZSS has a constellation of four satellites and is also known as Michibiki in Japanese. Japan started the initiative in 2010 and made the service available to the public in 2018.
Quasi-Zenith, like GPS, aims to provide extremely accurate and reliable locating services in Japan and select areas of the Asia-Oceania region. Although Japan’s satellite navigation system has very slowly expanded, they are committed to launching 7 further satellites by 2023. Moreover, QZSS adheres to the same ‘direct line of sight at all times’ tenet as NavIC and is in sync with Japan’s coordinates. It has put its satellites in both geosynchronous and geostationary orbit to ensure that at least one of the satellites is visible over Japan at all times. As a result, while Japan’s QZSS is far from the US’ GPS, it shows a lot of promise and we anticipate a further expansion in the near future.
NavIC is a very new satellite navigation system, but it shows a lot of promise. In case you were unaware, India developed a satellite navigation system called NavIC specifically for its region and its surrounding neighbours.
Nevertheless, unlike GPS, which is a global-navigation satellite system, NavIC, on the other hand, is a localised navigation satellite system. Fundamentally, it implies that while NavIC primarily serves India and parts of its nearby countries, GPS covers the entire planet for geographical locating. Having said that, NavIC is more accurate than GPS, at least in India, because to the NavIC satellites’ constant line-of-sight proximity to the country. In conclusion, NavIC is an Indian autonomous satellite navigation system that appears to be an improvement over GPS. Also, it’s fantastic that India will launch at least 5 additional satellites in the upcoming years.
BeiDou is a global-navigation satellite system similar to GPS, and China runs it. The project was first started in 2000 to create a GPS substitute for its customers. Yet, the number of satellites was just 2, thus the coverage was exceedingly limited, and precision was off the mark. China subsequently launched 10 and 15 satellites into Earth’s orbit in 2012 and 2015, respectively, expanding the constellation. And since 2015, China has launched seven more satellites, bringing the total number of active satellites in the constellation to 33. As a result, BeiDou and US GPS are nearly equal in terms of coverage. Aside from that, the accuracy is stated to be 3-5 metres which is outstanding and can even deliver 10cm of location precision, but it’s restricted for military purposes. All I can state is, BeiDou is as good as GPS and a viable substitute to GPS without any doubt.
The Best GPS Alternatives systems
Russia, India, China, the European Union, and Japan have each created one of these five GPS alternatives. As I mentioned above, only a small number of nations have made the investment in developing their own satellite navigation systems, and this is mostly for independence during aerial strikes, submarine battles, and land battles. One further thing to keep in mind is that customers are not allowed to select which GNSS system they can utilise. Everything depends on the hardware and navigation programmes they are utilising on their mobile devices. So, bear that in mind. That’s all from us at this time. I hope you find our content interesting. Please share your thoughts in the space below.