Jun 2012 | No Comment


NAMA to switch to performance based navigation

Nigeria is to switch to the satellite based navigation system also known as the Performance Based Navigation (PBN) soon. This is coming as airline operators and pilots have been urged to key into the satellite based navigation system.

Wireless broadband startup LightSquared files for bankruptcy

LightSquared Inc., which hoped to create an independent wireless broadband network in the U.S., filed for bankruptcy protection. Regulators blocked its plan this winter because of concerns that its transmissions would interfere with GPS navigation.
LightSquared hasn’t given up. Chief Finacial Officer Marc Montagner said in a statement that the bankruptcy filing is intended to gain the company “breathing room” while it continues to work through its regulatory issues.

China launches new navigation satellite into orbit

Two satellites for China’s Beidou navigation system launched aboard a Long March 3B rocket very recently, further expanding the spacebased positioning network as China eyes global service by 2020.
The launch marked the first time China orbited two Beidou satellites on the same rocket. Chinese industry developed a dualpayload adapter to launch the satellites one on top of the other inside the Long March nose fairing.

S Korea to protest North over GPS jamming

South Korea would urge North Korea to immediately stop jamming the satellite-based GPS that have raised new safety concerns for civilian flights and ships amid the Communist neighbor’s military threats. North Korea has been disrupting GPS signals since April 28, though no accidents have been reported, the Korea Communications Commission said in a statement in Seoul. Both the Koreas are members of the U.N. agency in charge of information and communication technologies.
South Korea will also plan to hold close consultations with the international community over the North’s electronic attacks and plans to raise the issue with the ITU and the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Pigeons’ navigation skills linked to special ‘GPS neurons’

Scientists have long known that the birds navigate using the earth’s magnetic field. Now, a new study has found subtle mechanics in the brain of pigeons that allow them to find their way. A team at Baylor College of Medicine in the US identified a group of 53 cells in a pigeon’s brain that record detailed information on the Earth’s magnetic field, a kind of internal GPS. However, the study, published in journal Science, leaves open the question of how these “GPS neurons” actually help the birds sense the magnetic field.”People had reported in the past, establishing that birds do not seem to respond to the polarity of the magnetic field, yet here we have neurons that are in fact doing that,” study author Prof David Dickman said.
It’s now believed that more than one mechanism may be at work in bird navigation — in their eyes, beaks or ears — and Prof Dickman said he is looking forward to getting to the bottom of it.

NASA Tests GPS Monitoring System for Big U.S. Earthquakes

The space-based technology that lets GPS-equipped motorists constantly update their precise location will undergo a major test of its ability to rapidly pinpoint the location and magnitude of strong earthquakes across the western United States. Results from the new Realtime Earthquake Analysis for Disaster (READI) Mitigation Network soon could be used to assist prompt disaster response and more accurate tsunami warnings.
The new research network builds on decades of technology development supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, NASA, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The network uses realtime GPS measurements from nearly 500 stations throughout California, Oregon and Washington. When a large earthquake is detected, GPS data are used to automatically calculate its vital characteristics including location, magnitude and details about the fault rupture.

GPS repaired in Space

Expedition 31 crewmembers Don Pettit and André Kuipers were given the task on their timeline to fix a failed GPS on the International Space Station (ISS). The repair was given certain priority as two operational GPS are required for next week’s scheduled arrival of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft
Attempts to restore the GPS from the ground were not successful. On May 14th 2012 Don and André’s timelines were rearranged to give them time to remove and replace hardware for the system. At 15:30 CEST after the repair, the Station crew received word from the ground that the damaged GPS is now ‘working just fine’.

Transneft to use GLONASS

The biggest oil transport company in Russia “Transneft” and the Navigational Information Systems company have begun to create a system of transport monitoring with the help of GLONASS.

The Russian GLONASS and the American GPS are now being used in Russia in different transport systems. All public government transport in Russia is to be fitted with GLONASS starting from this year. A special device will be installed on all transport, which will allow to pinpoint its location as well as to control its work and to measure the amount of fuel in the tank. All the information will go to the control center to be analysed by the controller, who will then create a report.

Compass to cover Asia-Pacific

China’s home-grown Beidou Navigation Satellite System, or Compass Navigation System, will be able to provide highquality services to most users in the Asia- Pacific region this year, an unidentified official from the system’s management office said recently. “With the trial run of the Beidou navigation service, we believe that China can provide high-quality satellite navigation services for most users in the Asia-Pacific region in 2012,” said Xie Haizhong, general manager of the Beidou navigation science and technology department of Beijing Unistrong, a company that focuses on the global navigation satellite industry.

Indian state to map orchards using GPS

Chief Minister of Bihar state, India, directed the state’s agriculture department to carry out mapping of orchards using GPS, to grant various incentives and assistances to the farmers. “The state government is committed to rejuvenation of the orchards to help the farmers generate a regular source of income. A number of incentives had been launched including grant of INR 1000 per acre for tilling of orchards, distribution of quality saplings and other supplements to keep the trees healthy with long life.”

Indian court questions over surcharge for GPS-based services

Frowning over the surcharge levied upon passengers for installation of GPS/ GPRS in autorickshaws, the Delhi High Court (in India) asked the Delhi State Government to explain the rationale behind the decision. HC’s poser came after it went through the government’s reply that claimed autorickshaw owners can’t blame it for increasing their financial burden by making installation of GPS/ GPRS compulsory as they have already hiked the fare to allow the autorickshaw owners to collect extra amount from passengers. In its reply, the government also argued it had allowed owners to install GPS from whichever dealer they wish as long as it conforms to some minimum standards.

Glonass may be compulsory to fly in Russian airspace

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov said recently that all aircraft– even foreign-registered ones–flying in Russian airspace should use the Glonass satellite-based navigation system. The Russian government previously listed applications where Glonass receivers and respective timing devices would be made mandatory and set time frames for state and commercial companies to implement this, but foreign-registered aircraft were not included. There is a requirement for aircraft operated by Russian-registered airlines to use Glonass receivers, but its original 2011 implementation date has been deferred several times due to a shortage of Glonass equipment. The implementation date for Russian airliners is currently set for next year.

UID registration process to be smoother using GPS

As the second phase of the Unique Identification (UID) registration drive will kick off this month in Delhi, India, all UID machines’ whereabouts will be monitored by GPS, according to Santosh Bhogale, Under Secretary (IT) and nodal officer for the UID. UID machines scan iris and take fingerprints of people registering for their 12-digit identification number. The need for GPS-based UID machines was felt for enhancing security of the machines. It was seen that the authorities did not have any means of knowing where the machines were being stored. It was left to IT companies that take up the job to safeguard the machines. The GPS-enabled tracking will help now all the authorities concerned to track each machine and it will cut down chances of any tampering with the machines or theft, explained Bhogale.

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