The Difference between GPS and GNSS

Satellite view of EarthMost people confuse GNSS with GPS. Both solutions use satellites to get a location fix on Earth. Both use small gadgets to receive the signals from these satellites. You can use a GNSS simulator on both types of receivers. You can also choose to use one or the other for many applications. However, they are different solutions.


You can use either GNSS or GPS for many things. You can use them to track people, phones, packages and pets. That way you can find out where they are at all times. You can also put them on automobiles, sea vessels, and airplanes for navigation. Some businesses use it to tag machines and other property to make sure they stay on site. You can also use GNSS in law enforcement to track suspects and monitor criminals.


The most commonly used satellite navigation system is GPS. GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It is only one of GNSS solutions. The US operates it. The system uses four or more of 32 medium orbit satellites they put up there. The satellites are on six diverse orbital planes. The US first used it in 1978. It became available for public use in 1994. Russia and the European Union also have their versions of GPS. However, they call it by other names.


GNSS is a generic term. The US or any other country does not own it. GNSS stands for Global Navigation Satellite System. It refers to a collection of satellites. These provide the signals to different GNSS solutions. These signals go to GNSS receivers to pinpoint the location. All use several satellites to make sure they are always accurate and available. All GNSS solutions can work with other systems.

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The main difference between GPS and GNSS is the origin. GPS is by the US. GNSS is global. All GNSS solutions can provide accurate location services for different applications. Since GNSS systems can work with smaller systems such as GPS, a GNSS simulator can test a GPS receiver.