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How does GPS actually work and what does this have to do with math?

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Source: CAMMP

In the GPS module, students gain insights into the functioning of navigation satellite systems for positioning purposes, which are particularly interesting for young people through their own everyday use in cars, bicycles, smartphones or even in cameras. GPS works with the help of satellites orbiting the earth at an altitude of up to 20,000 km. The satellites are equipped with an atomic clock and continuously transmit the current time to Earth. GPS devices receive this information and can calculate their own position.

In this module, the students work on the position calculation in GPS devices and their optimization. They work in small groups using simple MATLAB programs.

The module is designed to be action-oriented, since the students record their own position using GPS raw data in order to be able to calculate it themselves. Specialist competences from the fields of analysis, trigonometry and algebra are trained to a special degree.

This module is recommended for advanced mathematics courses that deal with vectors in space at the time of CAMMP day. The module serves as a supplement to the lessons. However, the module is also feasible without an understanding of the vector concept.

Duration: from 5 hours (incl. lunch break)
Contents: Equation systems, tangential equations in three-dimensional space, equation of equations, equilibrium calculation
Previous knowledge: Establishment of straight-line equations
Participants: Advanced Mathematics Courses
Created by: Pascal Richter, Christina Roeckerath, Markus Wiener
Registration: Appointments can be arranged individually by email.