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Nov 2018 | No Comment

Dr Yu Jiao receives Parkinson Award

The Institute of Navigation’s (ION) Satellite Division presented Dr. Yu Jiao with its Bradford W. Parkinson Award on September 28, 2018 at the ION GNSS+ Conference (Miami, Florida).

Dr. Jiao was recognized for graduate student excellence in Global Navigation Satellite Systems in her thesis, “Low- Latitude Ionospheric Scintillation Signal Simulation, Characterization and Detection on GPS Signals.”

The Bradford W. Parkinson Award is granted annually to recognize an outstanding graduate student in the field of GNSS, and is presented in honor of Bradford W. Parkinson for his leadership in establishing the U.S. Global Positioning System and for his work on behalf of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation. www.ion.org.

Date of orbiting Glonass satellite to be set after next launch from Plesetsk

The date of launching another satellite Glonass-M will be set after the next launch from the Plesetsk space site in the Arkhangelsk Region, a source in the space rocket industry has told TASS. The Information Satellite Systems Reshetnev company earlier addressed the corporation Roscosmos with a proposal for orbiting a Glonass-M satellite from Plesetsk in November 2018, but Roscosmos and the Defense Ministry have not made up their mind yet. http://tass.com/science/1027380

GNSS-based emergency warning service successfully tested with QZSS

In the framework of GNSS cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Japan, a test was recently conducted of a GNSS-based global Emergency Warning Service using Japan’s Quasi- Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), which delivered impressive results.

The EU is looking into the potential for deploying a new, global, emergency warning service (EWS) based on Galileo, as part of the EU Horizon 2020-funded GRALLE project (Galileo-based Reliable Automatic and Low Latent Emergency warning service), according to a European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA).

As the service should be based on a common alert protocol, one of the elements of the project is the development of a common alert messaging standard with QZSS, Japan’s satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS). This was the reason behind the recent test of the system with QZSS in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia.

Google launches motorbike mode navigation in Kenya, first for Africa

Google, said it would offer Motorbike Mode on Google Maps in Kenya, offering the voice navigation service for bike riders in Africa for the first time.

Kenyan roads are full of motorcycles taxis, known as boda bodas, that are much cheaper rides to car taxis.

Google, already provides the service in India.

Google will also launch its Street View service in Kenya for the first time, allowing users to virtually explore via its images 9,500 km (6,000 miles) of roads in cities such as Nairobi and holiday destinations such as Malindi on the coast. www.yahoo.com

US Army to introduce new requirements for GPS receivers in weapon systems

The Army is drafting new rules for the use of GPS receivers in weapon systems and will create a training program for soldiers that operate these systems. Army is looking for ways to make weapon systems more secure against electronic attacks aimed at GPS signals.

The Army’s goal is to protect systems and soldiers when they fight in “contested environments” where adversaries might attempt to disrupt GPS signals, said Willie Nelson, director of the Army’s assured positioning, navigation and timing cross-functional team.

GPS signals are susceptible to interference such as jamming and spoofing. Nelson’s office is writing a “capability development document” to address the need for assured PNT. https://spacenews.com

China launches 2 BeiDou-3 navigation satellites

China recently launched twin BeiDou-3 navigation satellites on a Long March- 3B carrier rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province. The satellites entered their planned orbit after flying more than three hours, and will work with the 14 BeiDou-3 satellites already in orbit. The satellites are the 39th and 40th of the BeiDou navigation system, and the 15th and 16th of the BeiDou-3 family. www.satellitetoday.com

Russian scientists develop highprecision laser for satellite navigation

Scientists from ITMO University developed a laser for precise measurement of the distance between the moon and Earth. The short pulse duration and high power of this laser help to reduce errors in determining the distance to the moon to just a few millimeters. This data can be used to specify the coordinates of artificial satellites in accordance with the lunar mass influence to make navigation systems more accurate.

Both GPS and GLONASS systems are based on accurate measurement of the distance between a terrestrial object and several artificial satellites. Satellite coordinates must be as accurate as possible to ensure precise object location.

Additionally, the moon’s mass affects satellite trajectories. Therefore, lunar coordinates must be taken into account when calculating satellite position. The lunar coordinates are obtained by measuring the distance to the moon with laser locators. Scientists from ITMO University’s Research Institute of Laser Physics have developed a laser for a lunar locator capable of measuring the distance to the moon with a margin of error of a few millimeters. The laser boasts a relatively small size, low radiation divergence and a unique combination of short pulse duration, high pulse energy and high pulse repetition rate. The laser pulse duration is 64 picoseconds, which is almost 16 billion times less than one second. The laser’s beam divergence, which determines radiation brightness at large distances, is close to the theoretical limit; it is several times lower than the indicators described for similar devices.

The new laser will be used in a lunar laser locator of the GLONASS navigation system. This will make it possible to correct satellite coordinates calculating in real-time, making the Russian navigational system more accurate. The margin of error when locating users may be reduced to 10 cm. https://phys.org

Goa, India to use GPS technology for Garbage Management

The high-level task force on solid waste management in Goa has approved the creation of a smartphone app –Black Spot Mobile Application to ensure that data about garbage blackspots are mapped and cleared across the state.

The authority felt the need of a mobile-based black spot tracker to monitor garbage dumping sites.

When a resident notices a blackspot he has to turn on the GPS, open the application and click the photo of that particular spot. The captured photo will contain metadata and will be geo- tagged. Then the app’s software will process the data and identify the jurisdiction. After some time an SMS and email will be sent to the village panchayat or municipal body to pick up the garbage. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

GMV wins 250 million euro ground control contract for Galileo

Spanish company GMV won a 250 million euro ($290 million) contract recently to maintain and upgrade the ground control system for Europe’s satellite navigation fleet Galileo over the next three years. The company’s contract with the European Space Agency, signed in September, marks the biggest deal for GMV and the biggest for Spain’s space industry. https://spacenews.com

European commission to make use of Galileo signals mandatory in smartphones

The European Commission (EC) is working to mandate that smartphones in the European Union (EU) should be equipped to use Galileo signals as well as other signals. This is a part of a broad space strategy that was launched in October 2016 to strengthen the EU’s space program and maximize the benefits.

“The current practice of establishing caller location, which is based on cell- ID positioning, whilst available and guaranteed under the Universal Services Directive, is not accurate enough as it provides caller location based on the serving cell-tower of a mobile phone, which may not necessarily be the closest cell-tower,” according to a discussion paper. “This area is dependent on the angle of coverage and cell radius. The latter can vary from 550 meters to several kilometers. In certain cases, notably in mountains and cities, this can lead to significant errors in positioning emergency callers.”

FCC to vote on allowing US devices to use Galileo

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will vote in November on whether to allow U.S. devices to access Galileo.

“Enabling the Galileo system to work in concert with the U.S. GPS constellation should make GPS more precise, reliable and resilient for American consumers and businesses alike ,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

In 2015, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) submitted to the FCC a request from the European Commission to waive certain of the commission’s earth station licensing rules to permit non-federal U.S. receiveonly earth stations to operate with Galileo.

The NTIA recommended grant of the requested waivers, and the International Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the potential public interest benefits and technical issues associated with the waiver request.

The FCC is proposing to waive its licensing requirements for nonfederal operations with Galileo signals known as E1 and E5, subject to certain technical constraints, officials said.

The FCC includes conditions to ensure users of satellite-based positioning, navigation and timing services in the United States will benefit from Galileo signals. The systems are interoperable under a 2004 agreement.

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