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What is GNSS?

  • 2 min read

We mention ‘GNSS’ multiple times on our website, since we provide customers with GNSS survey equipment at the best price-quality ratio in the market. But what is GNSS an abbreviation for and what other terms are relevant? What if you are not familiar with the professional language (yet) and want to make it your own? Well, our new Marketing Executive Jeroen joins you. He has written a quick intro for you (and him!).


GNSS is short for ‘Global Navigation Satellite System’ and refers to a constellation of satellites that work together to provide signals from space.
A constellation or “satnav” (satellite navigation) system is a system of satellites that provide self-determining geo-spatial positioning with global coverage and allow small electronic GNSS receivers to determine a location (on longitude, latitude, and altitude/elevation). They use time signals transmitted from satellites and use triangulation for a location.

Most GNSS systems provide global coverage, here speaking about 4 systems that were created in 4 different areas of the world: Europe (Galileo), China (BeiDou), Russia (GLONASS (Global’naya Navigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema) and the USA (NAVSTAR Global Positioning System or, ‘GPS’). Although GPS is a term most people are familiar with and use to determine their location for example via Google Maps, it cannot replace the term GNSS. In fact, GPS is a part of the entire GNSS system.

What’s next?

We’ve come to the end of this quick intro to GNSS and here’s a little roundup. These constellations of satellites work together to provide signals from space, using multiple systems to provide local coverage. This coverage allows small, electronic GNSS receivers to determine a location by using time signals transmitted over satellite radio for the exact position.

This blog was just an introduction to the language professionals use and we haven’t even started about digital surveying. Yet! We will publish more blogs to educate, inform, and inspire in the upcoming time. If you have a subject request or suggestion, please let us know. We’re here to help (and learn, right Jeroen?) !

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