top of page

GNSS (Satellite navigation) - A Simple Explanation

Updated: Mar 31, 2022

Technology has made us so that imagining our lives without it is nearly impossible. Our day today-chores are surrounded by such technology that we hardly notice it until something goes wrong. What if you decided to go on a long drive to some isolated place on some odd day and suddenly your car lost its sense of direction. Or maybe on the day of your very- very important interview, the map missed by a few meters and you are taken to an entirely different place? Disappointing right? But, thanks to today’s technology, the probability of any such thing happening is very slim. Until or unless something very serious is wrong. You are bound to reach your destined location without facing any problems. So, this tutorial is about that small help you need to get your directions and roads right. GNSS or GPS (widely known name) is what works behind the curtains to bring all that you need in front of you.

GPS or Global Positioning System is a satellite-based radio-navigation system. It does not require the user to transmit any data, as it operates independently of any telephonic or internet reception. It was the initial phase of such systems, and today it has become more advanced technically. Though general masses still call it GPS, the most accurate name is GNSS. GPS had a few drawbacks such as inaccurate positioning, obstacles such as mountains and buildings block the relatively weak GPS signals. Extreme atmospheric conditions can also cause problems. No matter how helpful, there was still a great need to enhance the functional capability of this system. That is when GNSS came into the picture.

A Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) can be defined as a satellite navigation system with global coverage. It can roughly be termed a satellite-based augmentation system to enhance the accuracy of GPS. GNSS systems provide enhanced accuracy and integrity monitoring usable for civil navigation.

Known GNSS Systems are GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia), Galileo (EU), BeiDou (China). Additionally, there are two regional systems – QZSS (Japan) and IRNSS or NavIC (India). GPS is the oldest GNSS system that began operation in 1978 and was made available for global use in 1994. This system consists of three segments: the space segment, the control segment, and the user segment.

GNSS-compatible equipment can use navigational satellites from other networks beyond the GPS. More satellites mean increased receiver accuracy and reliability, and they provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning with global coverage. Therefore, it is much better to have GNSS for more excellent satellite tracking and better global coverage. GNSS provides complete navigation solutions such as position coordinates, attitude, speed/acceleration, the possibility of high-rate data output, and independence from external data sources. More advanced systems can be used for attitude determination and output navigation data. GNSS systems have a good advantage over satellite navigation systems because they determine attitude parameters, function during GNSS gaps, and output high rate navigation data.

Advantages of GNSS over GPS

  • Increased receiver accuracy.

  • Reliability.

  • Provides autonomous geo-spatial positioning

  • Provides global coverage

  • Availability at all times.

  • Access to multiple satellites.

Categories of GNSS:


  • Underwater surveying.

  • Used as a navigation system for a car, a robot, or any moving land vehicle

  • Buoy positioning.

  • Navigation hazard location.

  • Dredging.

  • Mapping.

  • Surface transportation.

  • Vehicle location.

  • In-vehicle navigation systems.

  • Fleet monitoring.

  • Navigation data source in Electronic Flight Instrumentation Systems (EFIS) of aerial vehicles.

  • Used for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) navigation and control.

At “Influx” we have made it our motto to provide our customers with the best. Our data loggers use Ublox NEO M8-Q, which:

  • Provides concurrent reception of up to 3 GNSS (GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, BeiDou).

  • Recognize multiple constellations simultaneously and provide outstanding positioning accuracy in scenarios where urban canyon or weak signals are involved.

  • For even better and faster positioning improvement, the NEO-M8 series supports the augmentation of QZSS, GAGAN, and IMES together with WAAS, EGNOS, and MSAS.

The NEO-M8 series also supports message integrity protection, geo-fencing

Some fine examples of how “ReXgen” range from Influx helps our customers

In hilly terrain and areas/sections where a GPS will have inaccuracies due to fewer satellites. Whereas GNSS enables you to view the most difficult of paths. Powered by GNSS, a multi-constellation system, our module tracks more satellites.

Another example where ReXgen never fails to log precise information of the location. Like in this section of highway through a reserve forest with most of its road overlayed with trees and the path is surrounded by hills, which will reduce satellite signals and cause an error in the tracks. But not when ReXgen is the device you have since our GNSS module tracks multiple constellations.

ReXgen providing a perfect view of the track over a Flyover

In this case, the Vehicle was below the series of flyovers, but Rexgen successfully manages to maintain the information which could have been difficult otherwise, as the signal is usually weak in such cases.

Overall track showing reliable and continuous logging for long duration's.

Influx Technology Rebel and ReXgen series of Data loggers uses High Precision GNSS Recieveres from UBlox to provide our customers with accurate and reliable positioning data. For More details Click here


bottom of page