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China recently launched the last satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province. The satellite, carried by a Long March-3B carrier rocket, is the 30th BDS-3 satellite and the 55th of the whole BeiDou satellite family. The launch marked the completion of the country’s domestically developed BeiDou constellation, one of four global navigation networks alongside with the United States’ GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo. https://news.cgtn.com
British ministers are seeking to scale back plans for a £5bn satellite navigation system that was introduced in 2018 as an alternative to the EU’s Galileo project. The ministers are exploring other options, which include using OneWeb, the UK satellite operator that went bankrupt in March, the Financial Times reported, citing sources.
OneWeb has pledged to move its satellite production from Florida in the US to the UK if its management wins government support for its bid, according to the report. Plans for an independent satellite system were announced in 2018 by the then prime minister, Theresa May to ensure national security in the event that Britain were banned from equal access to the EU programme after Brexit. www.theguardian.com
Intelligent positioning solutions provider Position Partners has announced the release of MiRTK. This new correction service for GNSS equipment utilises the internet instead of UHF radio frequencies. It is compatible with all brands and models of GNSS from manufacturers including Topcon, Trimble, Leica Geosystems, Sokkia, Hemisphere and more.
Designed for the geospatial, construction and mining sectors, MiRTK works with every make and model of GNSS equipment. It uses a small modem that slides onto the accessory slot of the tripod and connects to the base station via a single cable. Unlike UHF radios, MiRTK is not limited by range from the GNSS base station and does not require line of sight with the survey rover or machine. It is limited only by the Telstra network, so if a user is receiving emails on their phone the MiRTK service will work https://im-mining.com
After careful consideration, the ION Satellite Division has decided to hold ION GNSS+ entirely virtually. This decision was made in light of COVID-19 and the domestic and international travel restrictions that we recognize will make it impossible for many speakers and participants to participate in person. The virtual platform is the best way to deliver a meaningful technical program experience to all participants. ION GNSS+ 2020 VIRTUAL will be held over the original dates, September 21-25, in Central Daylight Time. www.ion.org
Juniper Systems has introduced Uinta Mapping and Data Collection Software. It is a powerful hassle-free data collection software built with end-users in mind. Uinta’s data collection tools include detailed mapping with points, lines, areas, as well as form-based notes for digital recordkeeping. www.junipersys.com.
The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has published a White Paper on “Powerefficient positioning for the Internet of Things”, providing an overview of GNSS technologies that are relevant for lowpower IoT applications, including those that require hybridisation with other connectivity solutions. The world is embracing Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Billions of internet-connected devices are capable of sensing, communicating, interacting, computing and actuating. These devices are set to become even more integrated into our daily lives and by 2022 it is estimated that around 18 billion out of 29 billion connected devices will be related to the IoT.
With millions of moving interconnected devices in the IoT environment, many applications require or benefit from knowing the location of an individual device. In this context, the latest GSA White Paper looks at how GNSS-based positioning for the IoT can be made more power-efficient, to meet the needs of this growing market.
The White Paper also advises applications that require a position accuracy of one meter or less to use a multi-constellation, multi-frequency receiver. “However, as most low-power IoT applications prioritise extending battery life, a multiconstellation single-frequency receiver is sufficient when positioning accuracy of multiple meters is acceptable,” it notes. The report also states that, when deciding on an energy-efficient GNSS technique, the choice of the terrestrial network limits the possible options, as most solutions rely on external data to determine the position via GNSS. www.gsa.europa.eu
Major update to BlueSky™ GNSS Firewall software
Microchip Technology Inc. has released a major software update for its BlueSky™ GNSS Firewall product, providing a higher level of resiliency against GPS vulnerabilities for systems dependent on GPS signal reception.
BlueSky GNSS Firewall Software Release 2.0 performs real-time analysis to detect jamming and spoofing for protecting reception of the GPS signal and hardening response and recovery to avoid signal disruption. It includes charting and advanced threshold settings of GNSS observables such as satellites-in-view, carrier-to-noise, position dispersion, phase time deviation and radio frequency (RF) power level to simplify system turn-up and deployment. www.microsemi.com.