Aug 2017 | No Comment

DFS launches Precision Navigation

A new precision navigation procedure, RNP-1 (Required Navigation Performance), has been launched at Frankfurt International Airport, according to German air navigation service provider (ANSP) DFS. With RNP-1 and Radius-to-fix, they are increasing their precision navigation in air traffic to a new quality level, which has not been achieved in Germany.

Pilots using this method, in a high degree of precision, are passing through a circular path, which is defined by the air traffic control on the basis of a fixed radius, starting from a fixed point. This allows aircraft to maintain their predefined ideal line in a curved flight with a continuously equal distance from the reference point. This results in positive effects on the noise effects for the inhabitants of the region. The extent to which this effect will be can not yet be estimated with sufficient certainty, DFS says. Simulations have shown that RNP-1 and Radius-to-fix aircraft allow aircraft to travel more precisely, even under difficult wind and weather conditions. DFS is now testing this new process for six months on the existing conventional take-off route, the so-called “Südumflug”, on its accuracy. In order to be able to fly any RF leg, aircraft must be equipped with modern and RNP-1-approved satellite navigation technology.

Australia’s first GPS infrastructure officially in space

Australia officially has its first GPS infrastructure in space, according to the nation’s Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne.

A four-kilogram, U.S,-developed Biarri-Point cubesat was launched as part of the QB50 constellation in April 2017 towards the International Space Station (ISS), alongside three other Australian research cubesats. Biarri-Point was deployed in May from the ISS into its own low Earth orbit (LEO), carrying the Namaru GPS technology — the first fully Australian and New Zealand GPS payload for a cube-satellite. The Biarri project is a four-nation defense-related project involving Australia, the U.S., the UK and Canada. The Biarri-Point miniature satellite is the first of four Biarri cubesats to be deployed in the effort to learn more about cubesat formation flying and the drag and lift forces affecting signals from cubesats. The expectation is to inform future applications of satellite positioning with GNSS, including for future high precision satellitebased augmentation system (SBAS) and precise point positioning (PPP) capabilities, as well possible defense applications.

Biarri-Point is equipped with a L1 signal GPS receiver designed to measure the precise relative position of the Cubesats in its LEO. The spacecraft is also fitted with corner reflectors, thereby allowing the satellites to also be located using satellite laser ranging (SLR).

Consortium Records Scintillation on Galileo Signals in Antarctica

At the end of last year, the DemoGRAPE consortium observed, for the first time ever, ionospheric scintillations on Galileo signals in Antarctica, using Septentrio’s PolaRx5S GNSS reference receiver. DemoGRAPE investigates improvement of high-precision satellite positioning with a view to developing scientific and technological applications in Antarctica.

At higher latitudes, GNSS signal degradation due to ionospheric activity is more pronounced. The more precise phase-based positioning modes are particularly vulnerable to ionosphere disturbance such as scintillations. Elevated ionospheric activity can cause a loss of precise-positioning mode or, in more extreme cases, a total loss of signal lock

DoT makes GPS compulsory for handsets

Department of Telecom (DoT), India has made it compulsory for all the mobile phones to have GPS since January 1, 2018. Apart from GPS, it is also mandatory for phones to have a physical panic button on every device. The move comes on the back of security concerns, especially involving women, elders and children as mandating GPS would enable phones to have better location accuracy while under surveillance.

Interestingly, Telecom Regularity Authority of India (TRAI) in October 2015 had pushed device manufacturers to make GPS mandatory in handsets. However, DoT rejected the proposal citing lack of proper studies and impact of such a decision. Device manufacturers have urged the government against DoT’s decision as they suggest the move will increase the cost of feature devices by at least 30 percent. The device makers are suggesting an alternate option of implementing triangulation of telecom towers method to locate devices. The plus point with this method is that it can work even with no data connection. However, DoT argues that triangulation method is inaccurate, unlike

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