What is in a GPS receiver

What Is Inside A GPS Receiver?


What Is Inside A GPS Receiver – Everything You Need To Know!

Are you tired of getting lost on your outdoor adventures? Or perhaps you’re looking for a way to track your fitness progress and routes with more precision? Look no further than a GPS receiver! This nifty device is a must-have for anyone who wants to accurately determine their location and navigate with ease. But what exactly is a GPS receiver, and how does it work? In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the inner workings of a GPS receiver and explore why it’s an essential tool for anyone who loves the great outdoors or wants to track their fitness activities.

GPS Receiver Block Diagram

Okay, so if you are looking for detailed information on how a GPS receiver works we highly recommend you check out our page on no monthly fee GPS trackers which provide a comprehensive breakdown of passive technology. But what is actually inside the GPS receiver?

The biggest feature of the receiver is a radio processor, which is not only capable of receiving the radio transmissions broadcast by GPS satellites but also can solve the equations and trilateration necessary to not only determine the distance to the satellite but the position of the receiver itself. Additionally, the receiver hardware must be capable of resetting its clock to match the atomic clock of those GPS satellites.

In particular, the receiver pieces must be able to decode the navigation message, including:

  • Ephmeris parameters, help compute the coordinates of the GPS satellites used in trilateration.
  • Time parameters, which help the receiver not only compute the distance to the satellite but also ensure that the clock is reset to the correct atomic clock time.
  • Service parameters, which help correct any errors in satellite transmissions.
  • Ionospheric parameters can be necessary to help correct atmospheric factors that can affect the radio signal from the satellites.
  • Almanacs, help detail the plotted path of each of the GPS satellites.

There are also different types of GPS receivers. Some receivers work as stand-alone receivers, and many passive GPS trackers fall under this category. Other receivers may make use of augmentation systems or other supporting features. Below is a breakdown of everything that is inside a GPS receiver. 

What Is Inside A GPS Receiver – 6 Key Components 

A GPS receiver is a device that receives signals from a network of global positioning satellites and uses those signals to determine its own location on the earth’s surface. The basic components of a GPS receiver include:

  1. Internal Antenna: A GPS receiver contains an antenna that is used to receive signals from GPS satellites. The antenna can be internal or external to the device.
  2. Radio Receiver: The radio receiver in a GPS receiver is responsible for processing the signals received by the antenna. The receiver is designed to process the signals from multiple satellites at the same time.
  3. Signal Processor: The signal processor in a GPS receiver is responsible for demodulating and decoding the signals received from the GPS satellites. It also performs error correction and other signal processing functions to ensure accurate positioning.
  4. Atomic Clock: The GPS receiver has an internal clock that is used to time-stamp the signals received from the satellites. This allows the receiver to determine the time it takes for the signal to travel from the satellite to the receiver.
  5. Computer: The computer in a GPS receiver is responsible for performing the complex calculations needed to determine the receiver’s location. It uses the signals from multiple satellites and the time-stamped signal data to triangulate the receiver’s position.
  6. Display: The GPS receiver may also have a display that shows the user’s current location and other information, such as distance to destination and speed.


What Is GPS & GIS?

GPS (Global Positioning System) and GIS (Geographic Information System) are two related technologies that work together to provide valuable geospatial data for a variety of applications. GPS, a satellite-based navigation system, allows users to determine their location on the earth’s surface with high precision. This is achieved through a network of satellites that transmit signals to GPS receivers on the ground. The receiver uses these signals to calculate its position, speed, and other information, making GPS an essential tool for navigation, surveying, and scientific research.

GIS, on the other hand, is a computer-based system that captures, stores, analyzes and displays geospatial data. GIS combines digital maps and other data sources to create a layered representation of a geographic area. By combining different types of geospatial data, such as land use, population, and transportation, GIS can provide insights into a wide range of phenomena. When GPS and GIS are used together, they create sophisticated geospatial systems that can provide detailed information about an area or a specific location. This combined approach is used in urban planning, environmental management, disaster response, and public safety, making it a valuable tool for a wide range of applications.

How Are GPS Calculations So Accurate?

GPS (Global Positioning System) is a satellite-based navigation system that allows users to determine their exact location on earth. At any particular time, each satellite begins transmitting a digital pattern called a pseudo-random code, which is received by a GPS receiver. As the signal travels to the receiver, it lags behind the receiver’s digital pattern, and the time delay is used to calculate the distance between the satellite and the receiver.

To make this measurement accurately, both the satellite and receiver must have synchronized clocks. While atomic clocks would be ideal, they are too expensive for everyday use. Instead, every satellite has an atomic clock, while the GPS receiver uses an ordinary quartz clock, which it resets constantly to be synchronized with the atomic clocks in all the satellites.

Using distance measurements from four or more satellites, the GPS receiver can determine its own inaccuracy and make the necessary adjustment to be in sync with the satellite’s atomic clock. The GPS receiver also stores an almanac that tells it where every satellite should be at any given time, making it nearly as accurate as the expensive atomic clocks in the satellites. This clever technology enables the GPS system to provide accurate navigation for a wide range of applications.

Latest posts by Ryan (see all)