Taiwan has developed a technology to retrieve information from damaged GPS chips, used in helicopters and other vehicles. Japan’s Transportation Safety Board (JTSB) sought Taiwan’s Aviation Safety Council’s (ASC) help to determine the cause of a helicopter crash, according to Kuan Wen-lin, Director, ASC laboratory.
Glonass-K launch postponed to next year
Launch of Russia’s new-generation Glonass-K satellite has been postponed until 2011, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The satellite was about to blast off from the Plesetsk Space Center on December 28.
Three satellites – part of GLONASS system crashed into the Pacific Ocean on December 5, according to Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) officials. The satellites were the last of the batch of 24 Glonass satellites. They went off course and crashed about 1,500 kilometres northwest of Honolulu, Hawaii, after blasting off from the Russian-leased Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan.
Two satellites join GLONASS
The number of functioning satellites in Russia’s GLONASS navigation system has been increased to 22. One of the two newly introduced spacecraft rejoined the constellation following technical maintenance and another one was withdrawn from reserve. According to Russia’s Roscosmos space agency, both satellites have reached their planned orbit and started operation.
China is preparing for launch of another satellite in its Compass/BeiDou-2 GNSS system in the “coming days,” according to an unnamed spokesperson at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.
Scientists using high precision location data in epidemiology
British scientists have developed a software package that can record and playback location data with high-precision. The software then uses SIR modeling (S for susceptible, I for infectious and R for recovered) and the epidemiological technique of contact tracing in order to predict the spread of a disease through a network of people. According to William John Knottenbelt of Imperial College London and his team which includes members from Edinburgh Napier University, the precision of location tracking technology has improved greatly over the last few decades. They demonstrated that by tracking the locations of individuals in a closed environment, it is possible to record the nature and frequency of interactions between them. This information could be used to predict the way in which an infection will spread.
Bihar State Road Development Corporation (BSRDC), under the Road Construction Department (RCD), will deploy GPS-enabled Android phones to help executive engineers keep an eye on road construction from district headquarters, while the RCD Secretary will do so from the Patna office. The initiative will be launched on January 2011. Earlier, Bihar State Bridge Construction Corporation had successfully used GPS-enabled phones to help mobile inspectors track engineers on duty. The latest mobile operation system supports all Google applications in 3G mobile phones.
GPS tracking of criminals taking off in Nepal
Nepal Police is likely to use GPS frequently to track suspected criminals, though no existing law warrants its use. The police have recently made an experimental use of GPS.