Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SATs in the sky

With GPS I’ve got almost the same story as with Compass. From time to time my phone was very slow in founding location with GPS. What the reason for that, asks I myself? Looking through Market I found several GPS status monitors, which nicely shows signal levels of SATs, their placements in the sky, but never ever give me a hint, when I’ve got my precise location on the Earth?

Now I know that with SAT monitor of Ulysse Gizmos. The answer is very easy: to have a fix your phone should know the precise coordinates, named ephemeris, for at least for four SATs. And those SATs may have not the best signal level. Ulysse’s GPS monitor marks those SATs with small “e” in the SAT table. It also marks SATs with small “a” what means this SAT now sends almanac – information about whole SAT constellation. This is useful information for your GPS receiver – next time you precise location (fix) may be defined much faster.

Information panel of GPS monitor works in the same manner as for compass: tap and you will get new information piece: SATs monitor table, where you can see signal level, ephemeris and almanac activity for every SAT, current location accuracy and last fix time. Next view will show your coordinates, altitude, bearing and speed, received from GPS. Third view, as usual, will show you address of current location. Why we decided to show addresses for compass and GPS? The reason is different precision for network location finder and GPS. GPS can be precise to 10 feet while network usual have precision of hundreds feet. Yeah, with such precision we will know at least the name of town where we are now.


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