The first non-military applications of GNSS technology were in surveying and mapping. Today, GNSS is being used for commercial applications in agriculture, transportation, autonomous vehicles, machine control, marine navigation and other industries where efficiencies can be gained from the application of precise, continuously available position and time information. GNSS is also used in a broad range of consumer applications, including vehicle navigation, mobile communications, entertainment and athletics. As GNSS technology improves and becomes less expensive, more and more applications will be conceived and developed.
In addition to position, GNSS receivers can provide users with very accurate time, by “synchronising” their local clock with the high-precision clocks onboard the satellites. This has enabled technologies and applications such as the synchronisation of power grids, cellular systems, the Internet and financial networks.
We’ll talk more about GNSS applications in Chapter 9.