Global positioning systems (GPS) offer the latest method in high accuracy navigation by using a constellation of 24 satellites orbiting the earth and transmitting microwave band radio frequencies across the globe.
GPS receivers capture at least four of the satellite transmissions and use differences in signal arrival times to triangulate the receiver’s location.
By complementing GPS receivers with electronic compasses, more precise and instantaneous headings are provided to aid navigation for air, ground, and water-based systems.
Electronic map displays can be quickly updated when combining electronic compass bearings with GPS receivers derived location coordinates. Should GPS signals become blocked due to obstructions or severe weather, the compass updates and system speed information can provide a temporary backup in navigation.