Mar 2015 | No Comment

Beidou gets infrastructure boost

Infrastructure that boosts precision navigation and positioning for China’s Beidou Navigation Satellite System will be built on Qinghai’s Xining and Haidong City. According to the First Institute of Surveying and Mapping of Qinghai, the infrastructure includes base station networks, data processing, broadcasting systems and user terminals.

BeiDou Precision Nav will receive GPS, GLONASS, Galileo Signals

A senior Chinese government space official recently said that precisionnavigation user receivers in China will be fitted with chipsets receiving satellite signals from BeiDou, GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. The move could accelerate the trend among navigation chipset and receiver makers to build gear for multiconstellation reception, and at the same time undermine regional measures to promote one system over others.

Chen Zhi, deputy chief designer of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp., said China’s early deployment of satellite navigation receivers for precision agriculture already feature multiconstellation GPS-Beidou receivers.

The United States and European Union have signed World Trade Organization agreements for their constellations, GPS and Galileo. China and Russia are not part of the agreements.

NASA study looks to the ionosphere to improve GPS communications

A new NASA study focusing on irregularities in Earth’s upper atmosphere may help scientists overcome disruptions in GPS communication. The findings provide an insight into the causes of the disruptive regions, and represent the first time that such observations have been made from space.

The NASA observations, carried out by the Canadian Space Agency’s Cascade Smallsat and Ionospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE) satellite, focused on the Northern Hemisphere. They compared turbulence in the auroral regions with that observed at higher latitudes, above the Arctic polar cap.

It was found that irregularities tend to be larger in the auroral region – where they were measured to be between 1 and 40 km (0.62 to 25 miles) – than at higher latitudes, where they measured between 1 and 8 km (0.62 to 5 miles).

The study surmised that the variation between the two regions can be attributed to outside factors, with the auroral regions being exposed to energetic particles from the magnetosphere, while the polar cap region is affected by solar wind particles and electric fields in interplanetary space. This is important information in understanding and mitigating the effects of the irregularities. NASA

ICAO recommends new flight-tracking performance standard

Member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommended the adoption of a new 15-minute aircraft tracking standard recently. The recommended standard is performance-based and not prescriptive, meaning that global airlines would be able to meet it using the available and planned technologies and procedures they deem suitable.

The concept of operations for the GADSS was developed by ICAO over the course of 2014, following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and the special Multidisciplinary Meeting on Global Flight Tracking that ICAO convened soon after. The GADSS concept calls for a three-tiered approach for global aircraft tracking over the long-term, covering normal, abnormal, and distress conditions.

Raytheon GPS ground program passes review, delays still possible

A $1.6 billion ground control system being developed by Raytheon Co for GPS satellites passed a Pentagon review, but will be monitored to ensure it stays on track.

Recently, Raytheon CEO, Tom Kennedy told analysts that problems with the program had been resolved, and he did not expect an 80 percent cost increase to affect the company’s financial results.

Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester, warned in a report to Congress last month that delays in delivery of the Operational Ground Control System (OCX) posed risks to the Air Force’s ability to operate GPS satellites.

Russia, China discuss technological compatibility of satellite systems© Sputnik/ Maksim Bogodvid

Russia and China are discussing the compatibility of their satellite navigation systems, Glonass and BeiDou, Glonass’ Vice-President of Strategic Development Evgeniy Belyanko.

“At the moment we are discussing the question of technological compatibility of BeiDou and Glonass. This, essentially, will form a unified compatible security system along the China-Europe transport corridor,” Belyanko said.

He said that the systems did not have to be identical but it was important that they adhered to the same technical standards, while many elements of the systems could be specific to a particular country. He said that the precise number of joint monitoring stations for the systems is currently being discussed and will be determined on technical grounds, but the number of these stations had to be sufficient to expand the areas of monitoring in both Russia and China.

One GLONASS satellite withdrawn for maintenance

Satellite No 732 of GLONASS has been withdrawn for maintenance, the information and analytical center of the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said on its website. In early December 2014, experts registered the satellite’s malfunction. The “unhealthy” signs were recorded during an hour in the ephemerides (coordinates) of the Glonass-M satellite No 732, located at the 23rd orbital slot of the GLONASS system’s third orbital plane. However, the satellite became operational again within a day.

India Interested in Russia’s Glonass Satellite Navigation System

According to Glonass Union president, Russian satellite navigation technologies will be widely used in India in toll paying systems, rapid response emergency systems and asset management.

“At the moment, India is actively developing the market of telematics services… Governmental organizations, including police service, express interest in navigation technologies,” the spokesperson told RIA Novosti.

FCC shot down the proposal to add GLONASS to GPS system

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) doesn’t allow the use of non-US satellites, according to Chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau David Simpson. referring to the FCC order, requiring wireless providers to be able to transmit emergency indoor cellphone calls to 911 call centers.

FCC reviewed proposal to add Russia’s GLONASS satellite system 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.

Funding Proceeds for More GLONASS-K1 Satellites

According to its in-house newspaper, Siberian Satellite, the joint-stock company “Information Satellite Systems – Academician M.F. Reshetnev” has signed two loan agreements with the Russian VTB Bank (formerly Vneshtorgbank) worth 2.5 billion rubles ($38 million) to finance the production of GLONASS-K navigation satellites. Presumably, this refers to the decision to produce more GLONASS-K1 satellites as recently announced.

Public transport in Krasnodar to use GLONASS

Krasnodar Mayor Vladimir Yevlanov has ordered executives to equip public transport of the city with GLONASS navigation systems. 10 observers monitor public transport on city streets: 3 monitor the Krasnodar Tram and Trolleybus Department (trams, trolleybuses, buses), 4 monitor bus routes of commercial transport, one monitors the hotline, two consult evacuators of private vehicles parked against the law, reports. Over 90% of the public transport has been equipped with GLONASS systems. The systems will be compulsory for private passenger transport too.

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