The Global satellite Navigation System (GPS) has become the de-facto medium and is almost synonymous (GNSS). The fact that GPS is the oldest navigation system is one of the reasons. The US Defense Department started it in 1978. Other navigation systems, such as GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, Quasi-Zenith, and India’s recently released NavIC, are available. As a result, in this post, we examine all of the GPS Alternatives in-depth and evaluate them. We’ve discussed how a satellite navigation system’s coverage, accuracy, orbital height, and other characteristics define it. Let’s Check Out list of the best GPS Alternatives – Free Navigation Apps For 2023.
Let’s get started on the list of GPS alternatives without further ado.
While this GPS Alternatives or Satellite System similar to GPS is still relatively young in satellite navigation systems, it has a lot of promise. If you didn’t know, NavIC is an Indian-built satellite navigation system for its region and neighboring countries. In a separate article, we’ve published a full explanation of NavIC, just like GPS, and discussed why it’s better than GPS, so go ahead and read it to get a better picture. This GPS Alternatives or Satellite System similar to GPS, on the other hand, is a regional navigation satellite system, as opposed to GPS, which is a global navigation satellite system.
How to Start In simple terms, GPS covers the entire globe for location positioning, whereas NavIC primarily covers India and a few surrounding territories. However, in terms of precision, NavIC outperforms GPS, at least in India, because NavIC satellites, just like GPS, are constantly in direct line of sight with India’s territory. To summarise, NavIC is an autonomous satellite navigation system developed by India that appears to be a better alternative to GPS. In addition, India plans to launch at least five more satellites in the next years, which is fantastic.
GLONASS is the only satellite navigation system that matches GPS in terms of coverage and accuracy. It has been in service since 1995 and was built and run by Russia. Compared to GPS’s 31 satellites, This GPS Alternatives or Satellite System, similar to GPS, has 24 satellites. More than 20 satellites are required for a global navigation satellite system to function, and Russia has been maintaining the constellation since 2010.
Apart from that, GLONASS and GPS have nearly equal orbital heights and periods; therefore, they are similar in certain ways. For example, GLONASS, just like GPS, offers a position precision of 5-10 meters, which is excellent and comparable to GPS’s 4-7 meters. But, of course, the position improves dramatically with the help of local cellular triangulation. Overall, this GPS Alternatives or Satellite System similar to GPS, is a capable satellite navigation system developed by Russia, and it is only second to GPS in terms of accuracy.
China manages these GPS Alternatives or Satellite Systems similar to GPS, a global navigation satellite system similar to GPS. The project began in 2000 to develop GPS alternatives for its customers. However, because there were only two satellites, coverage was severely limited, and precision was off the mark. As a result, China deployed 10 and 15 satellites into Earth’s orbit in 2012 and 2015, making the constellation significantly larger, just like GPS.
After 2015, China launched seven more satellites, bringing the total number of operational spacecraft to 33. This GPS Alternatives or similar to GPS, is practically tied with GPS in the United States in terms of coverage. Apart from that, the accuracy is stated to be 3-5 meters, which is outstanding, and it can even provide a location precision of 10cm, but this is just for military usage. All I can say is that BeiDou is as good as GPS and, without a doubt, a viable Alternative to GPS.
The European Union opted to establish its GNSS because major countries already had satellite navigation systems. They began working on the project in 2005, and the Galileo constellation went active in 2016. To be clear, Galileo, like GPS and GLONASS, is a global navigation satellite system. The constellation currently includes 22 active satellites orbiting the Earth. The EU, just like GPS, is also attempting to boost the number of satellites to 30 by the end of the year.
Both GPS and Galileo have nearly identical operating mechanisms, although these GPS Alternatives or similar to GPS, are somewhat higher in height. However, Galileo has had some problems with atomic clocks and poor communications in recent years, so there’s that. To summarise, Galileo is a global navigation satellite system that will improve after achieving Full Operational Capability (FOC) in 2022 and become a viable alternative to GPS.
The Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) is a Japanese regional satellite navigation system comparable to India’s NavIC. In Japanese, QZSS is known as Michibiki, and it is a constellation of four satellites. Japan began the initiative in 2010 and made the service available to the general public in 2018. The goal of these GPS Alternatives or similar to GPS, like GPS, is to provide very precise and stable locating services across Japan and areas of Asia-Oceania. While Japan’s satellite navigation system has been sluggish to develop, the country has committed to launching seven more satellites by 2023.
In sync with Japan’s coordinates, these GPS Alternatives, similar to GPS, maintain the same principle of ‘direct line of sight.’ Moreover, it has placed its satellites in geostationary and geosynchronous orbits to ensure that at least one of them is always visible over Japan. To summarise, this GPS Alternatives or similar to GPS is nowhere like the GPS of the United States, but it has a lot of potentials, and we anticipate a further expansion shortly.
The Most Effective GPS Substitutes
So those are Russia’s, China’s, India’s, the European Union’s, and Japan’s five GPS options. As I previously stated, only a few countries have spent developing their satellite navigation systems, which is mostly for self-reliance during aerial attacks, undersea warfare, and terrestrial warfare. It’s also worth noting that users have no say in whatever GNSS system they utilize. It all relies on the technology and navigation apps they utilize on their smartphones. As a result, bear that in mind. That’s all from us; please share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section below.