A ground system aimed at enhancing the navigation precision of BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) was approved in central China’s Hubei Province. The BeiDou Ground Base Enhancement System (BGBES), a network consisting of 30 ground base stations, an operating system and a precision positioning system, was approved by the evaluation committee led by Sun Jiadong, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and chief designer of the BDS. The system is expected to help improve the BDS’ positioning precision to two centimeters horizontally and fi ve centimeters vertically via tri-band realtime precision positioning technology, and to 1.5 meters with the single-frequency differential navigation technology. www.laboratoryequipment.com
India is scheduled to launch the fi rst of its seven navigational satellites of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) in June, 2013, a top offi cial of Department of Space told.
IRNSS-1, the fi rst of the seven satellites will be space lifted aboard by the polar satellite launch vehicle, PSLV-C22, from the launch pad in Sriharkota, Andhra Pradesh. IRNSS is a navigation satellite system specially designed to provide position of an accuracy of 10 metres over India and also to the region around 1500 km around the country, told K Radhakrishnan, chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
IRNSS-1 is designed to provide a very accurate real-time Position, Navigation and Time (PNT) services to the users on different platforms with 24×7 service availability under all-weather conditions with standard positioning service for common users and restricted service for authorised users. The space agency also plans to launch the next navigation satellite in three months after in-orbit tests of the fi rst IRNSS-1, and the remaining fi ve by 2014-15. http://truthdive.com/
Coca-Cola has said it is cooperating with Chinese authorities who are investigating whether its employees engaged in illegal mapping using GPS devices in Yunnan Province. The investigation was reported by a provincial Web site on Feb. 28, and a reporter at China Radio International asked an offi cial with a national mapping agency about that case and others involving illegal mapping at a legislative session in Beijing. The offi cial, Li Pengde, did not mention Coca-Cola but expressed concern that some information could have been given to “foreign intelligence agencies.” A Coca- Cola spokeswoman said some bottling plants had adopted electronic mapping and equipment that was “commercially available in China through authorized local suppliers.” www.nytimes.com/
In the USA, two bills introduced in the House and Senate would compel law enforcement agents to obtain a warrant before affi xing a GPS tracker to a vehicle, using a cell site simulator to locate someone through their mobile device or obtaining geolocation data from third-party service providers. The comprehensive bills would also prohibit private investigators and other private individuals from using a GPS device to surreptitiously track someone’s location without their consent. The Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act (H.R. 1312) has gained wide support from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who say the bills are very strong and, if passed, would fi nally bring legislation up to date with the invasive use of new technologies. www.wired.com
China’s homegrown navigation system BeiDou is expected to achieve fullscale global coverage by around 2020, a leading scientist told Xinhua. It will then be able to provide highly accurate and reliable positioning, navigation and timing service with the aid of a constellation of 35 satellites, said Ye Peijian, chief commander of Chang’e-3, China’s lunar probe mission. “So far, China has successfully launched 16 navigation satellites and four other experimental ones for BDS,” Ye said. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/
In the context of the collaboration between Africa and the EU on the implementation of satellite navigation technologies that could make a major impact on economic development, the GSA (the European GNSS Agency) has launched the project ‘Awareness in Africa’ (AiA) with the aim of organising workshops to bring together relevant stakeholders from public institutions and the private sector and highlight the benefi ts of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) in African countries. http://brussels.cta.int/
Pan-African air navigation services provider ASECNA has been given the go-ahead to start work preparing for the future deployment of Global Navigation Satellite System/European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (GNSS/EGNOS) in the region.
ASECNA, in consortium with consulting and engineering group Egis, engineering company Pildo Labs and European satellite services provider ESSP has been appointed by the African, Caribbean and Pacifi c Group (ACP) to implement the Satellite navigation services for African Region (SAFIR) project, which is being funded by the European Commission through the 10th EDF Intra-ACP envelope. The fund is secured within the framework of the EU-Africa common Strategy adopted in 2005 and the Joint EU-Africa Partnership established in December 2007. http://atwonline.com