Jan 2020 | No Comment

Advanced Navigation raises $13M for global expansion, R&D

Australian-based Advanced Navigation, which develops artificial intelligencebased navigation technologies for robotics and self-driving vehicles, this week announced it has raised $13 million in a Series A funding round.

The round was led by Main Sequence Ventures’ CSIRO Innovation Fund, along with Brick & Mortar Ventures and In-Q-Tel. The company said the funding will be used to support global expansion for the business and accelerate research and development programs for “transformative new robotics, navigation and sensor technologies.”

China to launch Beidou-3 satellites in 2020

China will launch in 2020 the last two satellites of its Beidou-3 mapping system, an alternative to the US GPS, authorities have announced. China has launched 10 Beidou satellites into space during 2019.

Third Glonass-K Satelite launch to take place in March 2020

The launch of the third Glonass-K navigation satellite from Plesetsk Space Center is planned for late March this year, a source in the space industry told Sputnik. At the moment, the Russian GLONASS navigation system consists of 28 satellites, including 22 operational devices in orbit. To ensure the global coverage of the navigation system, 24 operational satellites are needed.

Measuring the volcano’s shape with high precision GNSS

HVO operates a 67-station GNSS network spread out across the island but concentrated near persistent deforming features like rift zones. These high-precision GNSS stations give scientists a 24/7 record (called a timeseries) of the precise position of the antenna every second through time.

To get a more complete view of the deforming volcano, HVO also conducts yearly campaign surveys on Mauna Loa and Kilauea. During these surveys, HVO staff place temporary GPS receivers and antennas on benchmarks and leave the equipment in place for a couple of days at each site. Benchmarks are permanent brass disks that have been drilled into the ground. The benchmark typically has a cross inside a triangle that serves as a reference point for centering of the antenna.

During each survey, we return to these benchmarks to collect data and determine how the point has moved. Data collected allow us to calculate both a horizontal and vertical location, similar to latitude, longitude, and altitude and thus to evaluate the change from prior surveys. Campaign GPS surveys have been conducted on both Mauna Loa and Kilauea since the mid- 1990s providing extraordinary time-series records of volcano deformation. Along with Mauna Loa and Kilauea, Hualalai and Haleakala volcanoes are surveyed periodically (approximately every three to five years) as part of our volcano monitoring program. This past October, HVO surveyed the western flank of Mauna Loa to add to the picture of volcano deformation provided by the continuous network.

Measuring the changing shape of the volcano helps us refine models of what is happening beneath the surface, for example, the inflation of a magma reservoir. A combination of improved technology and new data processing techniques is providing our best data yet in the history of satellite-based geodesy at HVO.

Robust receiver in development for critical infrastructure

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) awarded a contract for the development of the Galileo-based TIming Receiver for CriticAl INfrastructure Robustness (GIANO) to Thales Alenia Space, for resistance against interference, jamming and spoofing. The timing receiver for professional applications addresses the needs of the energy generation and distribution grid, telecommunications, financial operators and other users in the critical infrastructure community.

The GIANO receiver will leverage Galileo and European Geostationary Overlay Service (EGNOS)-driven tools to improve resilience of the receiver against interference, jamming and spoofing and increase the accuracy and reliability of the time transfer service. The timing platform prototype will integrate innovative technologies, including professional products from Thales Alenia Space, paving the way for future Galileo-based timing receivers that offer improved resilience and accuracy at a reasonable cost.

Since the inclusion of a timing receiver in a certified time distribution system implies the certification of the receiver itself, a continuous self-calibration approach is being studied to allow monitoring the internal delays along the full signal path by injecting a reference signal at the antenna. To ensure the integrity of the RF path from the antenna down to the receiver (which is important for certification purposes), the delay measurements would allow compensating fluctuations in the delay along the signal path due to environmental changes.

India’s NAVIC GNSS capability declared an allied system by U.S. Congress

The U.S. Congress has formally acknowledged India’s NAVIC global navigation satellite system (GNSS) to be an “allied system” in its finalized 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the legislative bill that outlines the U.S. Department of Defense’s budget, policies, and priorities for the coming fiscal year.

The acknowledgement of NAVIC by the U.S. Congress will mean that the GNSS system will be on a par with Japan’s GNSS Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) and Europe’s Galileo GNSS. This will allow U.S. military and government users to utilise NAVIC along with the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), QZSS, and Galileo. Presumably, it will also allow similar privileges for India’s military and government to formally utilise GPS.

Navigation with Indian Constellation (NAVIC – is also a Hindi word for sailor or navigator), has cost the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) U.S.$220 million for the orbital section and about U.S.$45 million for the ground segment. The NAVIC system provides two services: the Restricted Service reserved for Indian government and military users for now; and the Standard Positioning Service for civilian and commercial users in India and within NAVIC’s coverage area beyond, including the Middle East.

NAVIC’s coverage area ranges from much of the Middle East and East Africa through much of South- and Northeast Asia (except for Japan) and Northwest Australia. The Restricted Service signal provides position accuracy of better than 10 meters while the Standard Positioning Service signal will provide position accuracy of better than 20 meters throughout the coverage area.

NAVIC comprises a constellation of seven Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) satellites located in Geostationary orbit at 36,000 kilometres altitude.

China completes core of Beidou global satellite navigation system

Two Chinese Beidou navigation satellites successfully launched recently, completing the core of China’s independent positioning and timing network ahead of the start of global service next year. The satellites launched are orbiting Earth at an average altitude of 13,500 miles (21,800 kilometers), with an inclination of 55 degrees, according to tracking data published by the U.S. military.

The successful launch means all 24 third-generation, or BDS-3, Medium Earth Orbit satellites for China’s Beidou navigation network have been sent into space since 2017, according the Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency. The BDS- 3 spacecraft are the latest generation of China’s Beidou navigation satellites intended for worldwide service, following earlier missions designed for technology demonstrations or intermediate regional service.

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