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How can a GPS help you find your location on earth?

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A GPS (Global Positioning System) constellation consists of about 24 satellites circling the Earth, plus a few spares to allow for breakdowns etc. Each satellite is equipped with a high precision atomic clock which emits a signal of high accuracy.
There is a similar Glonass system operated by Russia, and the European Union is commissioning another system named Galileo.
A person with an appropriate receiver, may listen out to these satellites, and provided there are at least four satellites overhead, then the position of the receiver on the Earth's surface may be calculated to a small accuracy. Depending on the receiver apparatus, resolution of a few mm may be obtained, though with hand-held apparatus, a few metres is more usual.
The signal may be degraded by the signal being close to the horizon, or by the receiver being in a canyon such as in a city or mountains. Forest cover will also degrade the accuracy.
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