GNSS: A Look at its 3 Main Types

gps in a car

One would easily find their way out of an unfamiliar place with the use of Global Positioning System (GPS). An active internet connection can pinpoint your location in a matter of split seconds. This is all thanks to Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).

What started out as a military tool is now used by millions of people worldwide. It is further developed through trials and simulations. At present, the presence of multi-antenna GNSS simulators helps in continuously improving worldwide navigation system. Before going into the deeper paths of GNSS, it would be better first to understand the different types of GNSS available at present.

Types of GNSS


The Global Positioning System is perhaps one of the most widely used GNSS programs. It was developed by the United States Department of Defense for military purposes to help them with battles and other military functions. GPS currently has 32 active satellites. At present, GPS is enjoyed by people who have a GPS receiver.


This is the Russian counterpart of the GPS. GLONASS is currently operated by the Russian Aerospace Defense force and was developed in the Soviet Union. It has 24 satellites and can be comparable with the GPS when it comes to accuracy. When it comes to higher altitude accuracy, GLONASS is said to be better compared to its predecessor.


The European counterpart of GPS and GLONASS is the Galileo. It is not yet fully operational and is set to be launched in 2019. Unlike GPS and GLONASS Galileo is to be run by civilians under the European Space Agency. Galileo’s focus is to cater to civilian needs and is shaped to be used for search and rescue operations.

Other types of navigating systems are still under development and will continue to increase in number allowing people to enjoy its benefits wherever they are.