May 2017 | No Comment

Air Force says goodbye to 25-yearold GPS satellite

At 25-years old, GPS Vehicle Number 27 completed its time in orbit before the 2nd Space Operations Squadron said goodbye via final command and disposal on April 18. SVN 27 was launched in 1992, meaning it performed more than triple its design life of 7.5 years. Since GPS satellites do not carry the amount of fuel required for de-orbit maneuvers, they are instead pushed to a higher orbit, roughly 1,000 kilometers above the operational GPS orbit.

During the final contact with the vehicle, the satellite is commanded into the safest, lowest energy state possible. This means all fuel has been depleted from the fuel tanks, the batteries are unable to hold a charge and the vehicle is in a spin-stabilized configuration.

CARIS hydrographic production database for Swedish Maritime Admin

Teledyne CARIS has announced the successful implementation of Hydrographic Production Database™ (HPD) as the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) production system. This replaces the previously used legacy software employed by SMA for the management of spatial data. HPD supports the creation of paper and electronic charts, special publications and data services, and has been customized to meet SMA’s special requirements and workflow needs.

The project, known as ‘CHAMPS’, included system customization and development, existing data and product migration, training of SMA’s project team and end users. The project was completed and approved on time early February this year.

ISRO inaugurates advanced GNSS research lab

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched the Advanced GNSS Research Laboratory (AGRL) in the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering at the Osmania University College of Engineering in Hyderabad.

ISRO Chairman A. S. Kiran Kumar inaugurated the facility on April 27. He discussed various technical aspects related to NavIC Satellite Navigation System of India.

He also advised students and faculty to carry out research work on differential corrections, development of various modules using IRNSS, atmospheric effects, work related to mutli-constellation, kinematic applications, fisheries applications and innovative applications for the public.

CNES offers new Android apps for GNSS

French space agency CNES has made available two applications on the Google Play store for Android apps. Both are compatible with Android N (Nougat).

RTCM Converter: This app aims to convert the smartphone GNSS raw measurements to Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM message type 1077) and send them to a caster, for use by third-party software.

PPP WizzLite: This app is a port of the CNES PPP client (code and Doppler only, light version) on Android. Accuracies of 1-2 meters can be reached in kinematic mode, and sub-meter in static mode (using external SBAS data). To do so, users need to pull external RTCM streams for orbits/clocks corrections and broadcasts, such as ones available from the International GNSS Service Real-Time Service (IGS RTS).

Both apps have been validated on a Nexus 5X device with no phase support.

New GLONASS satellites will be transmitting encoded signal

New GLONASS satellites will be transmitting a new encoded signal, according to the deputy CEO of Russia’s Roscosmos corporation, Mikhail Khailov”At the moment the manufacturer keeps seven space satellites GLONASS-M in stock. Six will be transmitting the encoded navigation signal in L3,” he said.

Currently one GLONASS-M satellite and two new generation GLONASS-K satellites transmit the CDMA signal.

Roscosmos, ISRO to jointly collect satellite data

Russia’s Roscosmos state corporation and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have agreed to jointly collect data using the Glonass system and India’a regional satellite system – IRNSS.

Sergey Savelyev, deputy director general for international cooperation at Roscosmos, told the news agency that the organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on mutual deployment of ground stations of the two countries’ national satellite navigation systems.

Japan’s Second Michibiki satellite will boost QZSS

Officials at the Tsukuba Space Center of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced that the second satellite in the Japanese Quasi- Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) is scheduled for launch in June.

Designed to boost the accuracy and reception of the existing GPS system for Japan, a new version of a satellite that will orbit directly over the Japanese archipelago was unveiled recently. It will improve the existing GPS and provide a better positioning reading for the people in Japan.

A first in Germany as aircraft lands using only satellite navigation

Bremen Airport, in the north of Germany, was the setting for a German first as plane lands using only sat nav.

It was the first time that a passenger aircraft landed in Germany using a new satellite-based precision approach procedure without the aid of the conventional ground-based navigation infrastructure. This was made possible by EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service), a satellitebased augmentation system (SBAS) that supplements GPS and other satellite navigation systems. It improves the position accuracy of GPS from 10-20 metres to 1-3 meters. Bremen is the first airport in Germany to have implemented a precision approach procedure using SBAS.

SBAS provides an innovative alternative to the conventional instrument landing system (ILS) and can also be used in poor weather conditions. DFS has thus provided airspace users in Bremen with a workable alternative to the old system. This is not the first time that Bremen Airport was on the cutting edge of air navigation technology. In 2012, the world’s first approach using a groundbased augmentation system (GBAS) for satellite navigation was employed. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) approved the satellite-based SBAS precision approach procedure, giving it the name “LPV 200”. The procedure can be implemented in poor visibility for category I (CAT I) weather conditions, one of three levels of all-weather operations. The pilot is guided down to a height of 200 feet above ground, that is about 60 metres, using satellite-based technology that guides the aeroplane horizontally and vertically. When the pilot has the runway in sight, it is safe to land. www.

ClearEdge3D Releases VerityTM Construction Verification Software

Verity 1.0 software by ClearEdge3D verifies the accuracy of new construction against design/fabrication models, giving general contractors unprecedented insight into their construction projects. The software analyzes laser scan point cloud data of the as-built construction against the design/fabrication models, identifying variances, missing elements or other potentially costly construction errors. The variance data and corrected model can be exported to Navisworks for as-built clash detection and further analysis.

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