barcode printing using vb.net The Global Positioning System in Software

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The Global Positioning System
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The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a network of satellites that operates on a worldwide basis. This system allows a user to determine exact latitude, longitude, and (if applicable) altitude. All GPS satellites transmit signals in the microwave part of the radio spectrum, where the wavelengths are a few centimeters. The signals are modulated with special timing and identification codes. A GPS receiver allows its user to find his or her position by measuring the distances to four different satellites. This is done by precisely timing the signals as they travel between the satellites and the receiver. The receiver uses a computer to process the information received from the satellites. From this information, it can give the user an indication to within a few feet (for government and industrial subscribers) or a few hundred feet (for civilians). An increasing number of automobiles, trucks, and pleasure boats have GPS receivers installed. If you are driving your car in a remote area and get stranded, say in a blizzard, you might use the GPS to locate your position. Using a cell phone, you could call for help and inform authorities of your location. Someday, perhaps every motor vehicle and boat will be equipped with GPS and wireless communications equipment.
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612 Wireless and personal communications systems
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Acoustic transducers
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An acoustic transducer is an electronic component that converts sound waves into some other form of energy, or vice versa. The other form of energy is usually an alternating-current (ac) electrical signal. The waveforms of the acoustical and electrical signals are identical, or nearly so. Acoustic transducers are designed for various frequency ranges. The human hearing spectrum extends from about 20 Hz to 20 kHz. But acoustic energy can have frequencies lower than 20 Hz or higher than 20 kHz. Energy at frequencies below 20 Hz is called infrasound; if the frequency is above 20 kHz, it is known as ultrasound. In acoustic wireless devices, ultrasound is generally used, because the wavelength is short and the necessary transducers can be small. Also, ultrasound cannot be heard, and therefore it will not distract or annoy people. Figure 32-4 is a simplified diagram of a piezoelectric transducer. This device consists of a crystal, such as quartz or ceramic material, sandwiched between two metal plates. When an acoustic wave strikes one or both of the plates, the metal vibrates. This vibration is transferred to the crystal. The piezoelectric crystal generates weak electric
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Metal plates
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32-4 Simplified cross-sectional diagram of a piezoelectric acoustic transducer.
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Signal input/output
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currents when it is subjected to mechanical stress. Therefore, an ac voltage develops between the two metal plates, with a waveform similar to that of the acoustic waves. If an ac signal is applied to the plates, it causes the crystal to vibrate in sync with the current. The result is that the metal plates vibrate also, producing an acoustic disturbance in the air. The piezoelectric transducer can thus act either as an acoustic pickup or an acoustic emitter. Piezoelectric transducers are common in ultrasonic applications, such as intrusion detection systems. Figure 32-5 shows another type of acoustic transducer that can function either as a pickup or emitter. This is known as an electrostatic transducer. When a sound wave strikes the flexible plate, the plate vibrates. This causes rapid changes in the spacing between the flexible plate and the rigid plate, producing fluctuation in the capacitance between the plates. A direct-current (dc) voltage source is connected to the plates. As the
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Radio-frequency transducers 613
Rigid plate Blocking capacitor
Signal input/output
Flexible plate
32-5 Simplified diagram of an electrostatic acoustic transducer.
capacitance fluctuates, the plates alternately charge and discharge a little. This causes a weak ac signal to be produced, whose waveform is similar to that of the acoustic disturbance. The blocking capacitor allows this ac signal to pass to the transducer output, while keeping the dc confined to the plates. If an ac signal is applied to the terminals of the transducer, it passes through the blocking capacitor and onto the metal plates. The signal creates a fluctuating voltage between the plates. The dc source, combined with the ac signal, results in an electrostatic field of constant polarity, but of rapidly varying intensity. This exerts a fluctuating force between the plates, causing the flexible plate to vibrate and generate an acoustic wave in the air. The most well-known type of acoustic transducer has a coil surrounding a permanent magnet or electromagnet. A diaphragm or cone is attached to either the coil or the magnet. When the diaphragm vibrates as a result of acoustic waves striking it, ac is produced in the coil. Conversely, if ac is applied to the coil, it produces electromagnetic force that causes the diaphragm to vibrate. This device is called a dynamic transducer. Most microphones, headphones, and loudspeakers are of this type. Acoustic transducers are used in security systems. They are also used in robotics to help mobile machines navigate in their surroundings. Acoustic transducers are employed in depth-finding apparatus commonly found on boats.
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