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Dec 2012 | No Comment

INDUSTRY | LBS | GNSS | GIS | IMAGING | GALILEO UPDATE

Beidou commercial services can generate high revenues

The municipality of Beijing is encouraging investment in the navigation and locationbased services industry, suggesting there is a market worth at least 50 billion yuan ($8 billion) by 2015 after China put its own satellite navigation network into commercial use.

The reaction comes after the latest satellite in China’s Beidou-2 navigation system was launched in Xichang in October. The system is expected to start providing positioning and navigation services for China and neighbouring areas by the end of this year and provide global coverage by 2020. http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-11/21/content_15949299.htm

GLONASS hit by firing of top spacecraft designer

The chief designer or Russia’s scandalhit GLONASS satellite navigation system, Yury Urlichich, has been sacked from his services. The decision was made by the government’s militaryindustrial commission, which is headed Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. Russia’s rival to GPS was rocked by fraud allegations earlier this month, with the Interior Ministry accusing unnamed GLONASS officers of embezzling 6.5 billion rubles (USD 200 million) of programme’s funds.

Russia’s new GNSS mandate to require Glonass receivers

Russia plans to soon announce that its civil aviation fleet will be required to carry Glonass, that nation’s GNSS, or combined Glonass/GPS units, but not GPS on its own. Foreign-registered aircraft flying in Russian airspace would be exempt from the rule.

The prohibitive cost stems from the different technology in Glonass and GPS receivers. Glonass uses the so-called frequency division signal technology, while GPS uses code division methods and the two simply don’t understand each other. Inserting some sort of translator device sounds like a simple solution and is, loosely speaking, used in some special types of land survey satnav receivers. But aviation calls for demanding certification, and therein lies the rub, since no such equipment is available on the aviation market, and no western avionics manufacturer has shown interest in developing combined units for that niche market. In addition, such a unit would require modifications to the flight management and other onboard systems, including the need for two separate antennas.

It seems unlikely that Russia will modify its upcoming mandate proposal, since it has made massive investments in Glonass–which, like GPS, is a global system–to compete in the world GNSS market, of which aviation is a minuscule part, compared to vehicles. Millions of people worldwide own Chevrolets, Fiats, Toyotas and other brands and can make just about any changes they wish, but for an aircraft owner, certification of new avionics units and their retrofit substitution for earlier or different units is a morass of cost and downtime. And with a Russian precedent, China could eventually consider the same approach with its global Compass GNSS. www.ainonline.com

GPS to monitor housing schemes, misuse of funds in Indian state

The government has ordered to implement GPS technology in an effort to put a stop to the irregularities happening under Housing schemes. Earlier nodal officers of Rajeev Gandhi Rural Housing Coporation made a visit to the villages where the houses of the beneficiaries are under construction and verify the details and were using the GPS technology only for monitoring the sites. If the documents are approved the funds were remitted to the respective beneficiaries’ accounts. But with the rise in allegations that the officials were hand in glove with the beneficiaries and were sanctioning funds even when the construction of the house is in basement level, the government had directed to use GPS to monitor the scheme and then approve further funds. http://www.deccanherald.com/content/288977/gpsmonitor-housing-schemes-misuse.html

Lockheed Martin completes critical environmental test on GPS III pathfinder

The Lockheed Martin team developing the U.S. Air Force’s next generation Global Positioning System III satellites has completed thermal vacuum testing for the Navigation Payload Element (NPE) of the GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed (GNST). The milestone is one of several environmental tests verifying the navigation payload’s quality of workmanship and increased performance compared to the current generation of satellites. www.spacedaily.com

World’s smallest multi-GNSS module

UC530M by u-blox is the world’s smallest parallel GPS/GLONASS module with built-in antenna. The antenna module is easily embeddable in space-restricted environments thanks to its tiny footprint of only 9.6 x 14.0 x 1.95 mm. The highly integrated SMT design reduces the need for external components and minimizes manufacturing costs.

NIS Glonass to partner BSNL, MTNL in India

The governmment of India will shortly clear a three-way partnership between Russia’s NIS Glonass, BSNL andMTNL for delivering satellitebased navigation services in India.

The development comes on the heels of Russia’s plans to roll out satellitebased information services akin to ‘GPS’ on the Glonass system in international markets like India. http://articles. economictimes.indiatimes.com

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