Monday, September 22, 2008

What is GPS?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a constellation of at least 24 satellites that provides world wide accurate position coordinates. GPS uses satellites and computers to compute positions anywhere on earth. The system is owned by the United States Defense Department (DOD). It can be used worldwide by any civilian.

GPS Segments: control, space and user.


The control segment is the “brain” of GPS. A controller monitors the satellites transmission of navigation messages and sends necessary adjustments.

The space segment is the NAVigation Satellite Timing And Ranging (NAVSTAR) constellation of satellites that broadcast GPS signals. When the system is a full operational capacity there are 24 operational satellites. The satellites orbit approximately 22,200 km above the Earth and make one revolution every 12 hours.

Many applications use GPS to calculate positions. Civilian users currently outnumber military users worldwide. Applications include; agriculture, aviation, emergency services, recreation, surveying, vehicle tracking, utilities and navigation.

We will be using the technology to accurately map features on the golf course such as greens, tees, fairways, and most importantly new irrigation system components.

Each piece of the new irrigation system will be logged, creating of a highly detailed and accurate as built plan. These will plans will be invaluable if a problem occurs, so the source of the problem can be quickly identified and located in the field.

Once all of the features have been collected a workable map will be created giving me a visual inter-phase with my new irrigation software. I will now be able to the see golf course features with an irrigation component layer over the top.

Another aspect of GPS mapping is that I will now have detailed measurements of all golf course features. This information will help with the creation of work orders and area calculations for material ordering.