Jan 2013 | No Comment


Researchers told to ward off navigation system interference

Fan Changlong, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, required researchers to beef up the security measures of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) and increase its capacity to ward off interference. The BDS began providing services to civilian users in China and surrounding areas in the Asia-Pacifi c region recently. He said the system has broken China’s reliance on foreign navigation systems and carries great signifi cance in safeguarding national security and promoting economic development.

China’s Beidou GPS-substitute opens to public in Asia

China has opened up its domestic satnav network to commercial use across the Asia-Pacifi c region. It had previously been restricted to the Chinese military and government. A spokesman said that Beidou is targeting a 70-80% share of the Chinese market in related location services by 2020. The China Satellite Navigation Offi ce added that by that time it also intended the service to be available across the globe.

Putin urges CIS Countries to join Glonass

Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to join Glonass, Russia’s equivalent to GPS. “This system has the capability to provide considerable benefi ts in the economic sphere, since it reduces cargo transportation costs on all transportation systems, and it defi nitely increases the safety of all types of transportation,” he said.

New dates of Glonass-K satellite launches to be determined

New dates of launches of the Glonass-K satellite and a military spacecraft from the Plesetsk cosmodrome will be determined soon. Glonass-K is the latest satellite design intended as a part of the Russian GLONASS radio-based satellite navigation system. Developed by Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems and fi rst launched on 26 February 2011, it is a substantial improvement of the previous Glonass-M second-generation satellites, having a longer lifespan and better accuracy.

Russian military’s support of GLONASS on ice after corruption scandal

The Russian Defense Ministry has reportedly refused to adopt GLONASS, due to its technical shortcomings. One of the system’s 24 satellites has malfunctioned, and besides, GLONASS is still in its testing phase. The malfunctioning satellite will not be operational any time soon as it has already exhausted its power after 96 months in service, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports. And due to a difference in orbit inclination, no existing reserve satellite can substitute it.

Roscosmos reaffi rms Russia’s commitment to Glonass

A draft statement from the space agency Roscosmos has reaffi rmed Russia’s commitment to maintaining Glonass for at least another 15 years. Prepared on the instructions of a working group set up by Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov, this is in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices.

Navigation guarantee center set on N China Sea

A navigation guarantee center was opened in Tianjin to serve the navigation activities on the North China Sea. Together with two other centers on the South China Sea and East China Sea that are already in operation, the new center will guarantee the navigation service and promote the country’s maritime economy.The center operates under the Maritime Safety Administration with the Ministry of Transport, and will incorporate navigation aid, surveying and mapping, and marine communication to support and serve navigation activities.

India on brink of launching satellite linked navigation services

India may soon roll out satellite -assisted navigation services in collaboration with Russia’s NIS-GLONASS. The two countries, after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin, signed a memorandum of understanding recently for conducting the proof of concept through pilot project for providing the satellite-based navigation services. The MoU envisages a pilot project to assess the usage of GLONASS using the capabilities of BSNL/MTNL ground infrastructure.

Mapping from Wi-Fi “Fingerprints” Could Improve Indoor Navigation

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has a new method to build a map from Wi-Fi radio signals without accompanying GPS tags or manual inputs of map coordinates. Most current systems need GPS signals to fully interpret the data coming from Wi-Fi routers. Dong-Soo Han, a professor in KAIST’s Department of Computer Science, and his research team used software embedded in smartphone apps to upload a Wi-Fi fi ngerprint, that is, information about the current set of Wi-Fi signals and signal strengths available to the mobile device at that moment. Users were asked to input their home and offi ce addresses. The mapping system developed linked the geographic coordinates of those locations to the Wi-Fi fi ngerprints most frequently collected by the smartphones, combining that information with those from other users to create an overall Wi- Fi radio map of a selected geographic area. Such maps could be used as the basis of indoor navigation or indoor locationbased services (that, for example, send a coupon when you pass a particular restaurant in a shopping mall). Han’s team tested the system in four areas of Korea with mixed residential and commercial locations.

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