The aim of this course is to introduce the principles of the Global Positioning System and to demonstrate its application to various aspects of Earth Sciences. The specific content of the course depends each year on the interests of the students in the class. In some cases, the class interests are towards the geophysical applications of GPS and we concentrate on high precision (millimeter level) positioning on regional and global scales. In other cases, the interests have been more toward engineering applications of kinematic positioning with GPS in which case the concentration is on positioning with slightly less accuracy but being able to do so for a moving object. In all cases, we concentrate on the fundamental issues so that students should gain an understanding of the basic limitations of the system and how to extend its application to areas not yet fully explored.
This course will provide fundamental information on the global positioning system (GPS). Topics to be
introduced include the history and development of navigation and GPS, an overview of the technological
requirements for the system, a review on how the system works, and a discussion of various applications
that can incorporate a GPS.
The course will be divided into two portions: a lecture period where the concept of the system will be
discussed, and a laboratory portion, which will allow the students the opportunity to operate GPS units.
USB flash drive
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Describe the basic concept of the global positioning system
2. Describe the satellites and signal structures used in the GPS system
3. Explain the process and importance of differential correction
4. Describe the factors that increase the accuracy of a GPS receiver
5. Describe the potential errors in locating a position
6. Utilize a GPS receiver to acquire data
7. Utilize associated software to import data from a GPS receiver into a GIS project
? Introduction to GPS
? Projections and Datums
? How GPS Works
? Differential Correction
? Accuracy of GPS
? Applications of GPS
? The Future of GPS
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