Global positioning: GPS vs GLONASS vs Galileo

System Overview

  • GPS
    • Operated by the United States Air Force.
    • Global coverage available since April 1995.
    • Space segment includes 32 satellites arranged into 6 orbital planes, each with a minimum of 4 satellites.
    • Satellites Orbit the Earth at an inclination of 55° and an altitude of 12,550 miles (20,200 km).
    • Each satellite circles the Earth once every 11 hours and 58 minutes.
    • Transmits signals for civilian use over L1 (1575.42 MHz) and L5 (1176.45 MHz) bands.
    • Provides a positional accuracy of 11.4 – 25.5 feet (3.5 – 7.8 meters).
  • GLONASS
    • Operated by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces.
    • Global coverage available since November 2011.
    • Space segment includes 24 satellites arranged into 3 orbital planes, each with 8 evenly spaced satellites.
    • Satellites orbit the Earth at an inclination of 64.8° and an altitude of 11,868 miles (19,100 km).
    • Each satellites circles the Earth once every 11 hours and 15 minutes.
    • Transmits signals for civilian use over L1 (1602 MHz) band only.
    • Provides a positional accuracy of 16.4 – 32.8 feet (5 – 10 meters).
  • Galileo
    • Operated by the European GNSS Agency (GSA).
    • Global coverage available since 2019.
    • Space segment will include 30 satellites arranged into 3 orbital planes, each with 8 active and 2 spare satellites.
    • Satellites orbit the Earth at an inclination of 56° and an altitude of 14,429 miles (23,222 km).
    • Each satellites circles the Earth once every 14 hours and 7 minutes.
    • Transmits signals for civilian use over E1 (1575.42 MHz) and E5a (1176.45 MHz) bands.
    • Provides a positional accuracy of 6.5 – 9.8 feet (2 – 3 meters).

Read much more here.


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