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Old 15th Mar 2014, 21:52
  #4134 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Alaska
Posts: 2
Quoting lakedude:

Funny thing about these satellites (assuming the pic a few pages back is correct) is that they are all in a line so even if three or more were in range no "triangulation" would be possible because the satellites are not arranged in a triangle. GPS satellites are not arranged in a straight line for this exact reason.
Triangulation doesn't require the points of measurement to be in a triangle, or even for there to be three of them, as you would have learned had you attended a middle school mathematics class--two will do just fine. The triangle in triangulation is created by the lines of the sightings from two separate points to the target and the line between the two points. Given that, you might wish to try to imagine how two points can ever form anything but a line, although I suppose that is probably beyond your current skill level as well.

It is probably tilting at windmills, but you may also be interested to find out that Inmarsat satellites are in geosynchronous orbit, and therefore only appear in a straight line (over the equator) when drawn on a two-dimensional map--but this is solely an illusion created by the projection of three-dimensional space on a flat surface.

GPS satellites are in low-Earth orbit, with the result that they do not maintain a constant arrangement with respect to one another at all--a consequence of their orbital mechanics.

Also, the Earth is round. Actually, it is a geoid, which is an irregular shape something like an oblate spheroid, but 'round' should get you going in the right direction.
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