The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based signal providing precise timing, location, and velocity information. Just as any number of receivers can tune into a commercial TV or radio station, there is no limit on the number of people who can use GPS. With equipment ranging from small, hand-held receivers to large, rack-mounted electronics, anyone, anywhere, at any time can use the GPS signal. Initially, GPS applications were used for national defense; these remain in place today. The GPS signal has also become important commercially, from electric power distribution to land survey, car navigation, and management of telecommunications networks. In sponsoring this study, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Telecommunications provides a current view of the commercial status and trends of the industry since its availability for civilian use in 1984, projects its development over the coming years, and identifies factors that will affect the growth of commercial GPS markets.
Originally published in: Project Report Prepared for the International Trade Administration, Office of Telecommunications, U.S. Department of Commerce, pp. 1-95.
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