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Navigation Satellites Essay

1148 words - 5 pages

Navigation Satellites John Burns Grade 10Navigation satellites are one of the most useful inventions since the wheel. They were developed in the late 1950's, when ships needed to know exactly where they were at a given time. You can't just find your accurate position by looking out of the window, in the middle of the ocean. Today, navigation satellites are one of the most helpful tools for sailors, military, secret services and cartographers. They are now more advanced, and have a huge impact on our society.Before navigation satellites were invented, navigation was not developed. It was impossible to find out your exact coordinates when you were sailing. It was also impossible to find out ...view middle of the document...

The Navstar satellites are examples of satellites that use this formula. The 3D satellite navigational system of Navstar helps a traveller to find out his or her position anywhere on or above our planet. Data sent from a Navstar satellite provides the user with the time, the accurate orbital position of the satellite and the position of other satellites in this navigational system. The first of this American (Navstar) satellite series was launched in 1978. Right now, there are 24 orbiting Navstar satellites used only for navigation.One of the most popular navigation-satellite based systems is the GPS. In order to use a system called the GPS (Global Positioning System), you have to buy a locator, and with that locator it is possible to calculate distance by measuring the time it takes for the satellite's radio transmissions (traveling at the speed of light), to reach your locator. Once the distance from at least three satellites is known, your position in 3D (latitude, longitude, and altitude) can be calculated using mathematical calculations. For example: a boat's radar sends signals to at least three satellites which then give a 'fix' (boat's exact position in the sea). If you need to calculate your velocity, it can also be recorded from the changes in the radio transmission frequencies in the received signal from the satellite. Of course, the new GPS receivers do all the work for people. The mathematics is pre-programmed into the locators, and all the needed information is displayed automatically.Navigation satellites have a huge environmental impact on our world, and they made a big contribution to the environment. They help us track hurricanes, and other naturally occurring events. They help us keep an eye on climate change by monitoring the levels of the oceans, and studying how much ice has melted in the Polar Regions. Because of navigation satellites, we can almost be completely sure that if there will be a big natural disaster about to happen in our area, we will be ready for it. Or, if the sea level will rise near our current area, we will evacuate to a further area.However, if a satellite's energy goes out (after a number of years) it...

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