Jul 2013 | No Comment


Indian navigation satellite set to fly on July 1

Indian Space Research Organisation replaced a faulty component in the PSLV-C22 rocket and rescheduled the flight of the IRNSS-1A satellite, India’s first regional navigation satellite, on it for 11:43 p.m. on July 1, according to an informed ISRO official. It forms the country’s new and third category of multiuse spacecraft-navigation along with the older communication and remote-sensing (or earth observation) satellites. It will offer motion and location information over the sub-continent just as the popular U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, has done across the world for several years. ISRO says data from the indigenous system will be superior to information coming from GPS.

Shanghai to invest in satellite navigation system

Shanghai will invest 190 million yuan (US$30.65 million) to build infrastructure for China’s homegrown Beidou Navigation Satellite System that can be used for everything from monitoring vehicles transporting hazardous materials to locating people. The city government said that in the next 18 months it will create the infrastructure needed to track 50,000 objects or people.

Beidou began providing services such as positioning, navigation, timing and short messages for China and surrounding areas to users in the Asia-Pacific region last December, said Ran Chengqi, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office.

Russia set to launch four satellites

Russia has plans to launch four more GLONASS satellites by this year-end, the Aerospace Defence Forces head said. “Three GLONASS satellites are scheduled to be launched on board of a Proton carrier rocket in July from the Baikonur space centre and another one is planned to be launched in December from the Plesetsk space centre,” Maj. Gen. Alexander Golovko said.

Russian vice prime ministers get new roles

Russian Vice Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, responsible for national defense, will now work on military cooperation with other countries and the development of the GLONASS navigation system.

Africa to use GPS and phones to help map neglected diseases

Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa will begin using the latest technologies to map and collect data on the distribution of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) later this year. Officers running national NTD control programmes will be trained to use the latest mapping tools — including GIS, GPS and smart phones to create maps and collect data, to help with ‘practical control’ of diseases that continue to afflict millions of people on the continent. Despite being some of the easiest diseases to treat, NTDs continued to ravage populations across Africa. The five most common NTDs on the continent will be targeted: intestinal worms, trachoma, elephantiasis (lymphatic filariasis), river blindness and bilharzia.

Mapping tribal’s rights in India using GIS/GPS

The state government has procured the Forest Dwellers Land Mapping System developed by the Madhya Pradesh government, India to utilize it for mapping areas claimed by tribals under the Forest Rights Act (FRA). The department of tribal welfare has already purchased 20 units of GPS-enabled personal digital assistant (PDA) from the MP government and is in the process of inking a MoU with the forest department of the central Indian state for purchasing the customized software for the purpose. http://

GPS in autos still a distant dream in Delhi

Three years ago when the Delhi Government in India increased the autorickshaw fares, it had included a component that would help the auto owners to meet the cost of installation of a GPS system in their vehicles. But till date the system has not become operational. The GPS was meant to be installed in all the auto-rickshaws and was expected to provide real time data on the location of autos across the city through a server operated by the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS).

“As of June 14, GPS has already been installed in 20,423 auto-rickshaws. These are all new vehicles and the signals from them are being received at the Control Room,” said a DIMTS spokesperson. But beyond this, the system is yet to function. So even if some passenger were to use the emergency button on the auto, it would only send an alert to the Control Room but there would be no action on it.

Cut in GPS Budget by House Committee in USA

The House Appropriations Committee in the US has made a series of cuts to GPS programs that, if agreed to by the Senate, suggest an overall slowdown in the pace of GPS modernization. The biggest cut came in the GPS Block III satellite program where committee members slashed $44.167 million or 60 percent from advance procurement for the 9th and 10th spacecraft. If approved by the Senate, the reduction in the total FY14 budget for nearer-term and advanced satellite procurement would drop spending from $477.598 million down to $433.431 million. That is a far cry from the $492.910 million requested and approved for FY13.

The reason given for the advanced procurement squeeze was that the money was requested “ahead of need,” according to a draft of the report that accompanies the appropriations bill. GPS program managers are currently looking at a wide range of changes aimed at substantially reducing the constellation’s overall cost. They have already revised upward by an average of two years their estimates of the useful life of the current operational satellites — thereby enabling the program to slow replacement of the aging spacecraft already on orbit.

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