in , , ,

What are GPS Antenna Types?

You might wonder if the smartphone in your hands and your knowledge about trafficking make you an expert in navigation. But still, you would probably be surprised by what the Global Positioning System (GPS) can do. GPS antennas make your GPS signals stronger as they increase a wide range of frequencies. You can see that maps on your smartphones give you a result in metres. The GPS used by scientists and meteorologists can give a reading up to centimetres and even in millimetres. Well, there are various types of GPS antennae. Read the article to learn about GPS antenna types and other facts related to them.

1. What are the 3 Major GPS Components?

In ancient times, sailors used to see stars to track themselves in the sea. In those times, people had to track the stars in the night sky to know their location. Nowadays, GPS made this work much easier. You just need a GPS in your phone to know your exact location. However, scientists use GPS of varied types, each of them consisting of 3 major GPS components.

The 3 major GPS components are:

  • Satellite: It works at the start of GPS. Satellites send signals to every possible location in our world, and by that one can easily calculate location.
  • Ground station: It establishes the signal between the satellite and the station and it makes sure that the signal strength is right or not.
  • Receiver: It is a device that catches the signals coming from the satellite and calculates the distance between it and the satellite, and through that, it can generate the perfect location where you are standing.

2. What are the Basic Types of Antennas? Which are the Main Types of Antennas?

JAN23 What are GPS Antenna Types
By Nathan Anderson from Unsplash+

Antennas are one of the main parts of wireless connectivity. They establish wireless connections between two different places. In simpler terms, it is an electromagnetic radiator that creates an electromagnetic field that helps to travel electromagnetic waves from one station to another. The main types of antenna types are:

  • Directional
  • Semi-directional
  • Omnidirectional

3. Are all GPS Antennas the Same?

No, all GPS antenna types are not the same. GPS antennas work as a receiver that catches the radio signals coming from the satellite. It creates an electromagnetic field across it and catches every possible signal in its range. The antenna input and antenna splitter work the main part to receive and differentiate two receivers at a time simultaneously. And the cable connects these two with the main receiver. There are two major GPS antenna types:

  • Patch
  • Quad helix

4. What Type of Antenna is a GPS Antenna?

 GPS antenna types are devices that are designed to catch radio signals and send them with unique frequencies to the receiver. The GNSS receiver or GPS receiver converts that frequency to electromagnetic waves and then the location can be calculated.

Not all antennas work as GPS antennas. The mechanism and in-build machines have the main factor to generate the main location of a point. The input device collects the ranging signals from the satellite to calculate the location. And it has to be omnidirectional. Which means it can change the gains over the range and the field in the full hemisphere. 

5. What Type of Antenna is Used in a GPS?

In our modern science where wireless connectivity is a much-used option, wireless devices come with different new specifications. As well as in the GPS, the machines are well advanced. Compared to the old-gen antennas, the new-gen has more features and more range. It can create a large area of electromagnetic field which shapes like a hemisphere.

In recent times, Quad helix and patch antennas have also been updated. Now, it can generate more gains with isolation at the same time. GPS antennas and GNSS antennas have the same features. By their huge electromagnetic range, they can catch any ranging signals from the satellite and calculate the exact location in a fraction of the time. But do you know how to choose a GPS antenna? See What are the Uses of Electromagnets in Daily Life?

6. How do you Choose a GPS Antenna?

While choosing between different GPS antenna types, you must consider some of the main basic features a proper GPS provides. If you want to choose a GPS antenna to set it up in your location, you must consider these points.

  • First, you have to check the weather in your locality. If the weather is unpleasant or cloudy, it can affect the signal strength.
  • The size of the antenna is also important, as it can help to catch more signals.
  • Transmission frequently plays a major role in GPS signals. It is obvious that antennas collect the right range and send the correct frequency to the receiver.
  • The antenna must be Omni-directional. If it’s not, it will lose a lot of range in its electromagnetic field.
  • Antenna cable length also matters. If the cable is too long the signal will be too weak and it will be hard for the receiver to detect it.

7. What Frequency is a GPS Antenna?

In radio, wave frequency matters a lot. Transferring a correct frequency wave to a correct coordinate is the main motive. GPS satellites transmit many types of frequencies. It is described as L1, L2, and L5. Mostly radio waves are transferred in these frequencies. Mostly for location purposes L1 and L2 are used in GPS and GNSS antennas. For broadcasting purposes, L5 is the best frequency to deliver radio waves. Delivering 2 frequency waves is more important because it helps to prevent jamming. Many types of waves are caught in the electromagnetic field. It can cause delay and jamming. Check out How Does A Remote Control Work?

8. How can you Make your GPS Signal Stronger?

GPS antenna types are outstanding devices to map out accuracy. There are certain ways through which you can improve the precision and accuracy of GPS. The following would make your GPS signal stronger:

  • There must be a clear path between the object and the satellite.
  • You have to stay away from obstructions.
  • You need to keep the batteries of the device charged.
  • Antennas must be of good quality.
  • The hardware that is used should be the latest.
  • Proper usage of power-saving modes.

9. What is the Difference Between Active and Passive GPS Antennae?

Before discussing active GPS antenna, you must learn about different GPS antenna types. Passive antennas are those types of antennae with no amplifier built into them. An example of a passive antenna is the CP Beam. An active GPS antenna is nothing but a passive antenna with a built-in amplifier. An example of an active GPS antenna is the Shure UA874.

The only difference between an active and a passive antenna is that one has an amplifier and the other one doesn’t. Active antennas can both transmit as well as receive signals. It is to be noted that active antennas do not increase directional gain. Learn What are Magnetic Substances?

10. What are GPS L1 and L2?

As you already know each satellite has transmitting capabilities and it transmits data on two general frequencies L1 and L2, which are 1575.42 MHz and 1227.60 MHz. The atomic clocks present in the satellite generate fundamental L band frequencies of 10.23 MHz. In these systems, the L1 and L2 carrier frequencies are produced when the fundamental frequencies are multiplied by 154 and 120, respectively. The L1 frequency is used to track the location of a GPS satellite, whereas the L2 frequency is used to track the health of GPS satellites.

11. What are GPS L1 and L5?

The L1 GPS signal is the oldest frequency which has two parts, the Coarse/Acquisition Code (C/A) and the Precision Code (P-code). Among these, the P-code is for military use and the C/A code is used by the public. The L5 frequency is a new type of frequency that is used by civilians and especially aviation. Must read Magnetic Compass is used to Find What?

12. What is an RTK Antenna?

Now that you know different GPS antenna types, let us move forward. An RTK antenna refers to a Real-Time Kinematic antenna which is a technique that uses carrier-based ranging. This technique provides a magnitude which is much more precise than the code-based positioning. The RTK provides a higher level of precision ranging from 1cm to 1ppm. The RTK make your GPS signal stronger.

We may conclude with the fact that GPS antenna provides a more precise accuracy needed for various purposes of space, aviation, smartphones, scientific research and much more. But that’s not the end to it, as satellites are of different types having different capabilities, each having its own purpose. Whatsoever, for any purpose that has to be successfully executed, the accuracy is of utter importance, which is done by the GPS. 


Written by Jack Williams

Jack Williams is a multifaceted lifestyle writer who has a passion for bringing interesting and enlightening content to his readers. With a strong background in researching and writing, he has made a name for himself in the world of lifestyle journalism, covering a wide range of topics including Wikipedia, facts, and trivia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.