How Does GNSS Work?

The full form of GNSS is the Global Navigation Satellite System, which denotes any satellite navigation system used to determine a location having global coverage. The GNSS transmits navigation data in form of multiple frequencies signals, enabling the satellite to determine the geological location of the signal. These satellites boast high accuracy and are used to determine the current location by determining the coordinates of the signal. These satellites send signals to the location and receive navigation data back from the source. Further, it calculates the time taken for the signal to travel to and fro, enabling the satellite to determine the location of the person sending the signal. The largest use of GNSS is GPS, which helps anyone use these satellites and determine their location, further helping them travel through different cities and roads. Some other major uses of GNSS are in research and studies. Let us explore further and learn more about how does GNSS work and learn interesting advantages of GNSS. Also, in this article, you will learn what are GNSS devices and GNSS WIFI.

How Does GNSS Work?

How Does GNSS Work?

Keep reading further to find the steps explaining how does GNSS work and what is GNSS WIFI in detail with useful illustrations for better understanding.

What are GNSS Devices?

GNSS refers to the Global Navigation Satellite System, a constellation of satellites that transmit signals to determine the geological location of any device or person anywhere on the planet. It does so by transmitting signals of multiple frequencies to the receiver’s location, where the device sends back these signals, which are then computed to determine the receiver’s location with high accuracy. GNSS devices are used widely for GPS to help people travel and determine their location. It also plays a huge role in other key areas like aviation, space stations, telecommunication, law enforcement, and emergency response services.

Is GNSS a Sensor?

Yes. GNSS refers to the Global Navigation Satellite System, which uses satellites orbiting the earth to determine the position of signals received from the planet. GNSS is a group of satellites that orbit around the planet and send signals which are received by sensors present in various devices that make use of the services of GNSS. GNSS sensors are now included in various devices as they provide location detection services and help track and record movements.

What are the 3 Segments of GNSS?

The GNSS has 3 basic segments, which all cater to a separate use case, as these segments help in the proper and complete use of the abilities of the GNSS. These 3 segments are:

  • Space segment: The space segment is a constellation of 24 operating satellites that transmit only one-way signals, which help in determining the position and time.
  • Control segment: The control segment is the segment responsible for the proper usage of the satellite as this segment is in direct contact with numerous monitors and control stations established worldwide that continuously study the position of the satellite and provide an occasional and necessary command to keep the satellites in position. It also keeps a track of the navigation data and helps in maintaining the satellite for its proper functioning.
  • User segment: The third segment is the user segment, which is responsible for the most widely used service of GNSS: the GPS that allows the user to determine the location by transmitting signals to satellites.

How Does GNSS Work?

Are you confused about how does GNSS work? Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) is a group of satellites that move around Earth in set orbits and transmit signals of various frequencies to gather positioning and timing data.

The working of the GNSS is based on the signals sent and received. These satellites send signals of multiple frequencies, as using multiple frequencies has been shown to greatly increase the accuracy and reliability of the results. Then, these signals are received by the GNSS sensor located inside a device or by a receiver, which upon receiving these signals, sends back a signal to the GNSS satellite in space. These signals are then computed to determine the data regarding the positioning and timing of the receiver.

The results of GNSS have increased exponentially over the last few years as improvements in technology and signal strengths have helped in the better computation of data received.

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What Frequency is GNSS?

The GNSS sends signals of multiple frequencies to determine the location of the user. It is done because the use of multiple frequencies in comparison to one has been shown to exponentially increase the accuracy and reliability of the results. GNSS uses signal lengths of different frequencies for different purposes.

For example, GPS frequencies for:

  • L1 signal is about 1575.42 MHz
  • L5 signal is about 1176.45 MHz

Similarly, for the GLONASS system:

  • Signal L1 is about 1598.0625 to 1609.3125 MHz
  • L3 OC signal is about 1202.025 MHz

Now you know how does GNSS work. Keep reading further to learn what is GNSS WIFI.

Where GNSS are Widely Used?

The GNSS was initially meant for military use. But later advancements in technology and the economical transfer of signals from devices to satellites, the services of GNSS were rolled over to the entire world and have now become an integral part of our daily lives. Many personal, research, and public activities are based on this system as it enables accurate and reliable data regarding position and time. It is widely used in services like GPS, telecommunication, law enforcement, geological surveys, mining, and emergency response GNSS allows the transfer of data to and from the most remote areas helping greatly with numerous research.

Also Read: Top 12 Best GPS Trackers

Who Controls GNSS?

GNSS services are launched and maintained by various organizations throughout the world, which are operated by the government of the respected nations. IRNSS is an Indian organization that owns local GNSS that helps in proper mapping of the country; it covers the Indian country and around 1500 km around the Indian boundaries.

Other major organizations that operate GNSS are Galileo in Europe, USA’s NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS), and China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System.


Why is GNSS Important?

As we have reached here, you must be aware of how GNSS works but do you know its importance? GNSS helps to get information by enabling real-time tracking, timing, navigation, and other aspects of machine-to-machine communication, which is the foundation of IoT device management. Further, the importance of GNSS is:

  • Recognizing the location of an object: GNSS would be unable to provide any functionality to the IoT if it could not locate devices as the device gets a link with three or more visible satellites to determine its precise location using trilateration.
  • Identifying the best speed: Because GNSS systems constantly broadcast satellite signals as they orbit the planet, GNSS-enabled devices may maintain a constant record of their speed.
  • Ensuring IoT performance precision: Trilateration would have been impossible to do without the strong atomic clocks utilized in GNSS systems.

Photo by Sylwia Bartyzel on UnsplashAlso Read: How to Improve GPS Accuracy on Android

What are the Advantages of GNSS?

GNSS is a constellation of satellites that transmit signals to determine the positioning and timing of the user. The usage of GNSS has been continuously increasing over the past years as with technological advancements it has proven to be increasingly useful in different areas of everyday use. The advantages of GNSS can be listed as:

  • Better Accuracy: GNSS uses signals of various frequencies to track the position of various objects delivering highly accurate results with the least amount of deviation. The signals of GNSS are not affected by the magnetic waves or any other resistance in between allowing the system to deliver accuracy consistently.
  • Speed: GNSS not only delivers accurate results but also with a high speed as it uses signals and highly capable computing to calculate the results. This makes GNSS one of the most efficient and fast ways of obtaining data. Earlier this used to be a very tedious task making the process of research and study very slow but with the inclusion of GNSS such tasks require way less time.
  • Cost-effective: Modern technology has made the use of the GNSS system highly cost-effective. As the entire process is automated it becomes way cheaper than using any other method to obtain information regarding positioning and timing in three dimensions with very high accuracy.

Read this article from the start to learn how does GNSS work.

Which GNSS is Most Accurate Today?

The accuracy of GNSS has considerably risen with advancements in technology over the years; many countries have launched their GNSS, which has shown great accuracy and reliability.

The European GNSS, known as Galileo, has proven to be one of the most accurate and reliable systems. Another GNSS named GLONASS is a Russian satellite system that has shown the highest accuracy in higher-altitude mountain regions.

But still, Galileo tends to be a fraction more reliable, making it the most accurate GNSS on our planet. Galileo uses 24 satellites in 6 orbital planes sending, receiving, and processing signals to provide the results with the least variation from the actual result.

What is GNSS WIFI?

GNSS WIFI has made it very convenient to find reliable data wirelessly. These revolutionary antennas combine GNSS and dual-band Wi-Fi in a single durable package for intelligent transportation, Industrial IoT, and DSRC applications. This is GNSS WIFI.


We hope that you learned about how does GNSS work and what is GNSS WIFI. Feel free to reach out to us with your queries and suggestions via the comments section below. Also, let us know what you want to learn about next.

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