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Aug 2016 | No Comment

Australian maps and GPS will align by 2020

The country’s maps are currently based on a standard called the Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GAD94), which is more than 20 years old and ties map references to locations fixed on the Australian continent.

Since GDA94 was created, however, the country has moved about 1.5 metres, because its fast-moving tectonic plate moves 7 cm a year (we’re colliding with the Pacific Plate, which is heading west 11 cm a year).

As the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports, the country’s geodata agency Geosciences Australia (GA) plans to start using a new datum, GDA2020, from 2017.

GA has based GDA2020 on where it expects Australia to be in 2020, so in 2017, the datum will have a 20 cm error that will converge on the “correct” position over time.

That phase of GDA2020 will, however, still be fixed to the continent, so GA is planning a second phase: the Australian Terrestrial Reference Frame (ATRF), which will be rolled out out between 2020 and 2023. The ATRF is designed to stay in synch with global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), making local spatial information directly interoperable with sat-nav. www.theregister.co.uk

CSMART officially opens

Carnival Corporation’s Center for Simulator and Maritime Training (CSMART) was officially opened in Almere, Netherlands. The CSMART is the largest facility in terms of training capacity and utilises the most innovative technology solutions from Transas. The Transas Integrated Full Mission Simulation Academy Solution implemented at the CSMART is a significant innovation that moves the capability of the most complex challenge to maritime safety forward.

The CSMART facility houses navigational and engine room simulators in various configurations from classroom stations up to part-task and full mission solutions, interlinked to provide training and assessment for the entire crew. www.transas.com

China’s satnav industry grows 29 pct in 2015

The output value of China’s satellite navigation and LBS industry grew 29.2 percent year on year in 2015, with the country’s self-developed BeiDou Navigation Satellite System making a big contribution, according to a white paper.

The output value reached 173.5 billion yuan (26 billion U.S. dollars), nearly 20 percent of it from the BeiDou application, showed the white paper released by the GNSS & LBS Association of China.

Though China’s satellite navigation and location-based service industry is still at an early stage of development, its output value will continue growing at an annual rate of 20-30 percent in the coming years, the white paper predicted. http://news.xinhuanet.com

Air Force declares Nunn-McCurdy breach on GPS ground system

The U.S. Air Force would notify Congress that a next-generation ground system to control GPS satellites would exceed baseline cost estimates by at least 25 percent, triggering a series of regimented cost control measures and raising more questions about the future of the program. The mandatory notification, part of what is known as a Nunn-McCurdy breach, sets the stage for the cancellation of the Air Force’s Operational Control Segment, or OCX, program unless the Secretary of Defense determines the program is vital to national security, no reasonable alternatives exist, and that the Air Force has a solid plan to put the project back on track. OCX was expected to offer improved information assurance and unprecedented cyber protection while automating various GPS 3 satellite operating functions. But the program has faced continuing technical difficulties and the delays have been a sore point for Air Force leaders, who say that because of the lag they will be unable to immediately leverage the full capabilities of the GPS 3 satellites, which include better accuracy and higherpower signals. http://spacenews.com

SatNav expert Terry Moore decorated by RIN

Terry Moore, satellite navigation professor at The University of Nottingham, has been honored with the J E D Williams Medal for his contributions to the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN). Moore is a longstanding Fellow of the RIN, and currently its vice president.

India, Nepal agree to use GNSS for border pillars

More than 8,000 pillars along the India-Nepal border will be linked to a global navigation satellite system, allowing authorities for the first time to effectively manage the over 1,700-kmlong porous boundary. Nepal’s ministry of foreign affairs said the Nepal-India Boundary Global Navigation Satellite System (NIB GNSS) will be used for the boundary pillars. The decision in this regard was made at the third meeting of Nepal-India Boundary Working Group (BWG) which concluded in Kathmandu recently. www.hindustantimes.com

Roscosmos eyes joint projects with India, China

Russian State Corporation Roscosmos is considering joint space projects with India and China, including on manned programs, according to Roscosmos head Mr. Igor Komarov. “We maintain constant contact with Indian partners. Now we are agreeing to deploy GLONASS adjusting stations in India. Besides, they had requests connected with the possibility of participation in our moon programs,” Komarov said. With China, he said, the issue of exchanging data from remote Earth sensing satellites to address emergency situations is being discussed. https://rbth.com/

Russia issues stamp to honor GLONASS

A Russian stamp honoring GLONASS was issued on July 5. A new Russian Federation postage stamp features the GLONASS- K satellite and graphic icons representing the main application areas of the satellite navigation system’s services.

DLT in Thailand installs GPS system

DLT Director General Sanit Phromwong disclosed that since January, over 66,000 public transportation vehicles have been equipped with the GPS system, in an attempt to raise the safety standards of public transportation. The DLT has designated that newly registered vehicles must be equipped with the GPS system to link the data with the DLT within 2016. All public transports are required to be equipped with the GPS system by 2017 as well as the all trucks in 2019 under the supervision by the DLT’s GPS System Management Center. http://news.thaivisa.com

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