May 2016 | No Comment

India unlikely to budge on GPS diktat for mobile phones

Telecom minister of India Ravi Shankar Prasad has reiterated that all new mobile phones will have a panic button starting January 2017 and in-built GPS from January 2018, but added that the telecom department will discuss all issues with the industry to allay any apprehensions.

The statement comes after handset makers raised concerns that GPS installations in featurephones will lead to a significant increase in costs. Handset makers though have backed the implementation of panic buttons in all new phones from January 2017 onwards that is much needed for ensuring women safety. Starting January, all smartphones will have a panic button while the department has identified numeric keys 5 and 9 as push buttons for an emergency in feature phones.

Russia opens 4th Monitoring Station in Brazil

The ground stations are used to trace signals from the GLONASS constellation as well as those of similar networks – GPS, Galileo and Compass. The input is then processed and transmitted to the global analytic center for high-precision information.

Russian Aerospace University release new GPS Easy Suite

Kai Borre, now a professor and senior researcher at Russia’s Samara State Aerospace University, has released a new version of Easy Suite, a collection of Matlab-based scripts and explanatory text that illustrated a variety of common GPS issues.

Borre, a geodesist who founded and directed the Danish GPS Center for many years, based the first collection of Easy Suite files on RINEX version 2.10. Over the years he received many requests for a code that starts from RINEX version 3.03. In the intervening time, Matlab had also changed and now includes new relevant commands. So, Borre decided to update the files with a code based on Matlab version 8.5 (R2015a). Samara State Aerospace University supported Borre’s efforts, which were undertaken from last August to February of this year.

GPS/GLONASS development kit with patch antenna evaluation board

Available from RS Components, the L86 evaluation board offers an effective and complete interface of the Quectel L86 GNSS module with a patch antenna and a computer. The module has an embedded patch antenna (18.4mm . 18.4mm . 4mm) and LNA brings high performance of MTK positioning engine to industrial applications. It is able to achieve the industry’s highest level of sensitivity, accuracy and TTFF with the lowest power consumption in a small-footprint lead-free package. The embedded flash memory provides capacity for users to store some useful navigation data and allows for future updates.

EU approves new rule on personal data protection, including Geolocation

The European Parliament has approved new rules on personal data — including geolocation — that create a high, uniform level of data protection across the European Union. The measure also sets minimum standards on use of data for policing and judicial purposes. The reform will replace the current data protection directive, dating back to 1995. The new rules include provisions that require “clear and affirmative consent” to the processing of private data by the person concerned, ensure that privacy policies are explained in clear and understandable language, and enact stronger enforcement and fines up to four percent of company’s total worldwide annual turnover, as a deterrent to breaking the rules. The data protection package also includes a directive on data transfers for policing and judicial purposes. It will apply to data transfers across borders within the EU as well as, for the first time, setting minimum standards for data processing for policing purposes within each member state.

SpaceX wins its first national security launch contract

SpaceX has won an $82.7 million contract to launch a GPS-3 navigational satellite into orbit for the U.S. Air Force, marking the first national security mission for the California-based company. The award was virtually in the bag for SpaceX because United Launch Alliance, the only other company certified to launch national security payloads, dropped out of the competition last November.

S Korea tells U.N. about North Korea GPS jamming threats

North Korea has been jamming GPS signals in South Korea since March 31, threatening the safety of civilian aircraft and vessels and violating international agreements, Seoul told the UN Security Council.

South Korean U.N. Ambassador Oh Joon said the electronic jamming signals have come from five North Korean regions – Haeju, Yonan, Pyongyang, Kumgang and Kaesong – and “dangerously affect” the Global Positioning System. “The GPS jamming by DPRK (North Korea) is an act of provocation that poses a threat to the security of the Republic of Korea and undermines the safety of civil transportation, including aircraft and vessels,” Oh wrote in the April 5 letter.

China Launches BeiDou IGSO Spacecraft

China has launched another second-generation BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) satellite, the 22nd in the nation’s GNSS program. The satellite launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan on March 29 local time on board a Long March-3A carrier rocket.

This is the second BDS launch this year, following one on February 1 that placed a middle-Earth-orbit (MEO) into the constellation.


Next Glonass-M Satellite launch scheduled in 2016 from Plesetsk Cosmodrome. It will be very similar launch to this from February 7, 2016 – Soyuz-2.1B again will be equipped in Fregat-M upper stage. Glonass-M is made by NPO Prikladnoi Mekhaniki (present name is Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems) and is equipped with L band transponder and cesium clocks and powered by two deployable solar arrays. It will be positioned on orbit of 19100 km . 19100 km with inclination at 64.8° and remain in space for at least 7 years. Glonass-M series is designed to replace Glonass-K1 and Glonass-K2 satellite.

Roscosmos establishes GLONASS development department

The leadership of the Roscosmos State Corporation has established the department of navigation space systems to coordinate the resolution of all tasks connected with the development and use of the GLONASS, the Izvestia daily reported citing the Roscosmos press service.

Satellites to keep Japanese connected when disaster strikes

Japan plans to build a satellite-based communications network that would fill in when a natural disaster knocks out regular systems. Several GPS satellites would transmit text data between survivors, municipalities and other parties.

The government intends to employ a set of satellites that go by the name Michibiki. The first of these is already in orbit. Three more Michibikis are to be launched by the first half of fiscal 2017 — the year through March 2018 — followed by another trio by fiscal 2023. This fleet will give Japan its own accurate GPS system. But the satellites can also function as relay stations. The government will use this feature to connect disaster victims’ smartphones with data terminals at the Japan Meteorological Agency, municipal offices, fire stations, hospitals and other organizations, bypassing ground-based communications infrastructure.

India launches IRNSS-1G

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its thirty-fifth flight (PSLV-C33), launches IRNSS-1G, the seventh satellite of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) into a Sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO). The launch took place from the First Launch Pad (FLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota on April 28, 2016. As in the previous six launches of IRNSS satellites, PSLV-C33 uses ‘XL’ version of PSLV equipped with six strap-ons, each carrying 12 tons of propellant.

The ‘XL’ configuration of PSLV is used for the thirteenth time. Besides launching six IRNSS satellites, PSLV-XL has also launched many other spacecraft including India’s Mars Orbiter spacecraft, the multi-wavelength observatory ASTROSAT, Radar Imaging satellite RISAT-1 and the Communication satellite GSAT-12. This apart, PSLV-XL has successfully placed five satellites from United Kingdom into orbit in a single commercial mission.

This is the thirty-fourth consecutively successful mission of PSLV, repeatedly proving its reliability and versatility. Like its other IRNSS predecessors, IRNSS-1G also carries two types of payloads – navigation payload and ranging payload. The navigation payload of IRNSS-1G will transmit navigation service signals to the users. This payload will be operating in L5-band and S-band. A highly accurate Rubidium atomic clock is part of the navigation payload of the satellite. The ranging payload of IRNSS-1G consists of a C-band transponder, which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite.


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