Feb 2015 | No Comment

U.S. Army interested in eLoran PNT

The United States Army is soliciting information for eLoran receivers for the warfighter, either stand-alone or integrated with GPS. The Jan 14 Request for Information (RFI) provides an outline for the potential use of the receivers in Army and other Department of Defense maritime, aviation, or vehicular platforms and for position and timing purposes. Primary technical areas the Army is interested in include the receiver specifications; its use for maritime, aviation, vehicles, and timing; SWaP-C considerations for an integrated GPS and eLoran receiver; potential benefits of one-way messaging capabilities using the eLORAN data channel; signal tracking where GPS is unavailable (indoors, under water, in urban environments); and how quickly a demonstration could be held.

Lobbyist behind anti-Russian tactic to derail Glonass

© Sputnik/ Alexandr KryazhevUS lobbyist is behind a campaign to derail a proposal being considered by the US government’s main communications agency to use Russian satellites to help first responders more accurately locate 911 calls from cell phones, the director of government affairs for the National Emergency Number Association Trey Forgety told Sputnik. Under the US Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposal, Russia’s GLONASS satellite system would be added to the US satellite GPS system to double the coverage of satellites, thereby increasing the probability and accuracy of finding someone making a 911 call.

Welch backs legislation on GPS data

Rep. Peter Welch, joined by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Jon Conyers Jr. (DMI), reintroduced the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act (GPS Act). The legislation creates clear rules about when law enforcement agencies can access and track Americans’ electronic location data.

“Cell phones are in the pockets and purses of most Americans,” said Welch. “While tracking technology has transformed our lives in many positive ways, it also poses a risk to privacy through potential misuse of tracking data. The time has come to modernize our statutes to reflect the technology of our age. This bipartisan legislation protects Americans’ right to privacy while ensuring law enforcement officials are able do their important jobs.”

Courts have issued conflicting opinions about whether the government needs a warrant to track Americans through their cell phones and other GPS devices. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 2012’s U.S. vs. Jones case that attaching a GPS tracking device to a vehicle requires a warrant, but it did not address other digital location tracking, including through cell phones, OnStar systems and consumer electronics devices.

The GPS Act applies to all domestic law enforcement acquisitions of the geolocation information of individual Americans without their knowledge, including acquisitions from private companies and direct acquisitions through the use of ‘Stingrays’ and other devices. It would also combat high-tech stalking by creating criminal penalties for surreptitiously using an electronic device to track a person’s movements, and it would prohibit commercial service providers from sharing customers’ geolocation information with outside entities without customer consent.

GPS trackers could help ease prison overcrowding

The Judiciary of Guam is hoping to test a program that would put GPS tracking on a handful of pretrial detainees. If successful, it could be one way to ease the ever-growing population at the Department of Corrections. In a recent report, the Office of Public Accountability attributed overpopulation to the high number of pretrial detainees who are confined awaiting their day in court. The report suggested that alternatives to confinement could be a significant step in reducing the strain of overpopulation. One possible alternative is GPS monitoring.

Russian airline approved for GNSS Landings

Russia’s S7 Airlines has received approval for three Boeing 737-800s to perform landings using GNSS, becoming the country’s first carrier to do so, reports Air Transport World. More than 50 airports in Russia have installed equipment allowing global positioning landings (GLS). Russia’s State Air Transport Management Corp. plans to certify 10- 15 airports per year for GLS landing.

Glonass Company set up by Russian Government

Russian President Vladimir Putin in July 2014 ordered the government to develop and adopt a roadmap for the creation of an open joint-stock company “GLONASS” with 100-percent state participation. According to the plan, the property complex of the state automated information system “ERA-GLONASS” will be transferred to the share capital of the newly created company. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin in September welcomed the establishment of the company, calling it a first step in the commercialization of space-based services.

Beidou system sees slow expansion

Beidou Navigation Satellite System has been in service for two years but the adoption of the system has been slow. With a positioning accuracy of 10 meters, a velocity accuracy of 0.2 meters per second and a timing accuracy of 10 nanoseconds, Beidou has become the third major navigation system in the world. Beidou uses both satellites and ground-based facilities to improve its accuracy. Beidou has been adopted in key areas concerning China’s national security, such as transportation, weather, agriculture and land management, as well as in foreign countries, including Thailand and Myanmar. Despite the Chinese government’s plan to install the Beidou system on chartered vehicles, buses and trucks carrying dangerous materials in eight provinces, Tianjin and the Pearl River Delta between 2014 and 2015 but the actual implementation has been less than ideal.

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