For years, consumer-grade devices used single-frequency GPS receivers to determine their location. But that is changing as newer gadgets have started adding support for a second GPS frequency called L5. Here’s everything you need to know.
The GPS Signal
Although initially designed for the United States military, the Global Positioning System or GPS now plays a vital role in our lives. From turn-by-turn navigation to sharing our location for grocery delivery, we use GPS on a daily basis. But for the longest time, your smartphone, in-car navigation, or smartwatch would use a legacy frequency called L1 to get the GPS signal and determine its location.
L1 is widely used, and it has helped transform the world in a big way. But this frequency is susceptible to multipath errors, which are caused when some GPS signals are reflected by buildings, the ground, and other objects before reaching the receiver. Determining locations in GPS is based on measuring distances to the satellites, so these reflections cause a problem, showing a different distance than a…
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