Cars. and stuff.
Cars. and stuff.
This is a platform for User Generated Content. G/O Media assumes no liability for content posted by Kinja users to this platform.

Applied knowledge

Well I was wondering why my GPS was taking so long to pick up my location on my phone. Then I thought, well it IS sending a signal to outer space, so I should give it a break. But then I thought wait a second, cell phone signals are electromagnetic waves, so they should travel about the speed of light. So, given that an average GPS satellite orbits about 20,200 km, and speed of light being 3e8 m/s it should take about .067 seconds to cover the distance from here to a satellite (asumming Earth is a point-mass for simplicity, I can neglect it's radius, and that the satellites are directly above me). At worst it should take a few seconds then for a GPS signal to travel from the satellite to my phone and vice-versa. Here I am sitting around for about 5 minutes before it picks up my location. So what gives?


Share This Story

Get our newsletter