Difference Between GNSS vs GPS
GNSS which stands for Global Navigation Satellite Systems and GPS which stands for Global positioning systems are the most common terms that we know when we discuss regrading ‘satnav’ or satellite navigation. Satellite navigation provides autonomous geo-spatial positioning with the help of the network of satellites that provides global coverage and determine the minor electronic receivers locations using the time signals that are transmitted along the line of sight by the radio and from the satellites. More often these both GNSS and GPS are used interchangeably but there are major differences. This article highlights these differences.
Head to Head Comparisons Between GNSS vs GPS (Infographics)
Below are the top comparisons between GNSS and GPS:
Key Differences Between GNSS vs GPS
Let us discuss some of the major key differences between GNSS and GPS:
- Global Navigation Satellite Systems which is referred to as GNSS is a global term that encompasses all of the world’s or global satellite positioning systems. But GPS is one of the major components of GNSS and to be more specific it refers to the NAVSTAR Global Positioning System GPOS developed by the USA Department of Defence which was specific to military use earlier but later made accessible to the civilian population.
- GNSS includes other satellite-based positioning systems such as GLONASS developed by Russians, European unions Galilieo and Chins Beidou. Whereas GPS is one such component under GNSS.
- GNSS in collaboration with GPS is used to locate positions quite precisely anywhere on the earth. This GNSS and GPS work together to get accurate locations. But the main difference is that the GNSS is compatible with other satellite networks which can be beyond GPS. This all the GNSS receivers are compatible to receive the signals from the GPS systems but the vice vers that is all the receivers of GPS is not compatible with GNSS.
- Both GNSS and GPS will be composed of three basic segments which are satellite (Space segment) that sends the signals continuously, Controls stations on earth (Ground Segment) which monitor and tracks each of the satellites and last the user segment which will be the GPS or GNSS receivers. This GNSS and GPS are currently used in a wide verity of fields where continuous position tracking is required such as transportation, agriculture, marine navigation, machine control, vehicle navigations, cellular and mobile communications, etc
- The GNSS provides a wider network of satellites that provide better accuracy, availability, and redundancy at all times. Thus even one of the satellite systems fails the GNSS receiver can pick the signal from another receiver. GPS is also having a network of 32 medium earth orbit satellites that are positioned in six different orbital planes. Thus we can say that GPS a subset of GNSS
Comparison Table of GNSS vs GPS
Let’s look at the top comparisons between GNSS vs GPS.
Below is the comparison table between GNSS and GPS on certain features. From the above part of the article, you might have seen that GNSS is a generic name for the group of satellites that sends out the signal to the receivers, and GPS is one of the many such different groups of satellites. So this comparison table will be more towards GPS and other satellites based navigation systems in the column termed as GNSS rather than literal GNSS and GPS comparison
|GNSS(All Satellite Navigation System except GPS)||
|Origin Country||Since GNSS has many navigation systems in it, here is the list of origin countries of each one of them
||GPS was introduced by the United States of America.|
|Orbital Altitude||The orbital altitude of the navigation systems under GNSS are as follows
||The orbital altitude of GPS is 12,540 miles.|
|Period||The period for the different navigation systems are as below
||The period of the GPS based navigation system is around 11 hours and 58 min (11 h 58 min).|
|No of Satellites||The total number of satellites used by other navigation-based systems under GNSS except GPS are as below
||The total number of satellites is 32 with 24 identified at least by the design.|
|Precision||The precision acquired by the various navigation systems under GNSS except GPS are as follows
||The precision acquired by GPS is a range of 5m (No DGPS or WAAS).|
|Status||The status of each navigation systems under GNSS except GPS are as follows
||The Status of GPS base the navigation system is operational.|
Thus GPS one such popular GNSS base positioning system which is quite common in the civilian domain for positioning. And similarly, there are other navigation-based systems under GNSS which we have seen in this article. Using the network of satellites in GNSS for user positioning increases the precision level called Precision Point Positioning PPP that will be obtained
This is a guide to GNSS vs GPS. Here we discuss GNSS vs GPS key differences with infographics and comparison table in detail. You can also go through our other related articles to learn more –