GPS or Global Positioning System has been one of the most advantageous inventions. The possibility to reach perfectly from one point on the earth to anywhere else is amazing. Now, the U.S Space agency NASA has presented massive plans for GPS. The agency needs to take GPS to the Moon. GPS works on Earth using a method called Trilateration. There is a network of 32 satellites around the Earth help pinpoint the location of an object. This starts by having the first satellite relay a signal to your GPS receiver (maybe your mobile phone or vehicle). It helps determine the distance between the sender and the receiver.
This forms a sphere with the satellite as the center and the radius telling us the distance between the two. So, a 2nd satellite determines its distance from the receiver and the overlapping data helps narrow down the accurate location. The 3rd satellite does its magic and the combined information helps pinpoint the location of the receiver as 3 spheres can intersect only at one point in a 3-dimensional space. Moreover, this complex infrastructure isn’t really present around the moon.
The plan of NASA involves using a similar network of satellites to execute a similar process on the moon. The U.S Space agency is developing a special receiver to better pick up these signals that can receive the relay from a much higher distance. It is noteworthy that NASA has long been working on high-altitude navigation as well as increasing the relay distance of the satellites. The special GPS module will be based on a NavCube model. It is being developed by NASA Goddard’s Internal Research and Development program. Hopefully, a working prototype will be ready by the end of this year. The major objective of providing navigation functionality on the Moon is to lessen the dependency on the communication networks of NASA.