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Russian satellite producer Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems plans to start developing a new generation satellites for the country’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) in 2017. The company plans to fi nish developing the projected satellites, called GLONASS-KM, in 2020.
Prime Business News
Researcher predicts magnitude-9 earthquake in Kashmir
Roger Bilham of Colorado University predicted a magnitude-9 earthquake in Kashmir Valley. The US professor claimed that his observation is basedon the new GPS data readings which revealed gradual movement of rocks in the Zanskar mountains north of the valley. Bilham has, however, put no timeframe for his predictions. In its typical doomsday forecast, the study warned, “The zone would rupture when a quake eventually happens. The quake would be 200 kilometres wide as against 80 kilometres predicted earlier.”
Commenting on Bilham’s study, M.I. Bhat, a senior geologist in Srinagar, said, “Earlier we believed that the Kashmir Valley was vulnerable to destruction from quakes generated along the Pir Panchal mountain range. But with availability of the GPS data from the region, it is now evident that the northeastern side of the valley is more vulnerable to earthquake generation than the Pir Panchal range.”
Tests show LightSquared interference with 75 percent of GPS receivers
U.S. government tests conducted in November showed that 75 percent of GPS receivers examined were interfered with at a distance of 100 meters from a LightSquared base station. The report states that “No additional testing is required to confi rm harmful interference exists,” and “Immediate use of satellite service spectrum for terrestrial service not viable because of system engineering and integration challenges.” The tests showing interference by the LightSquared Lower 10 terrestrial signal with an overwhelming majority of general-purpose GPS receivers. Data from LightSquared handsets was collected, and analysis is underway, but no results were presented on December 14. The presentation of fi ndings was made to the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT ExCom) by Lt Col Robert Erickson, U.S. Air Force, and Dean Bunce, Federal Aviation Administration, the two co-chairs of the National Space-Based PNT Systems Engineering Forum (NPEF).
Statement by Anthony Russo Director, National Coordination Office
On Behalf of the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing, December 14, 2011 “Today (December 14), a government technical group reviewed the fi ndings from last month’s testing of LightSquared’s proposal to provide new broadband service. The fi nal test report will be sent to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which advises the President on telecommunications policy, and represents federal agencies to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Preliminary analysis of the test fi ndings found no signifi cant interference with cellular phones. However, the testing did show that LightSquared signals caused harmful interference to the majority of other tested general purpose GPS receivers. Separate analysis by the Federal Aviation Administration also found interference with a fl ight safety system designed to warn pilots of approaching terrain. The fi ndings were presented to the technical steering group which represents the nine federal agencies that make up the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing. Over the next several weeks, the fi nal analysis of the fi ndings will be completed and a fi nal report will be transmitted from NTIA to the FCC.”
LightSquared has asked the FCC to confi rm the company’s right to use spectrum licensed to it and that commercial GPS manufacturers have no right to interference protection from LightSquared’s proposed wireless broadband network. The company asserts that commercial GPS manufacturers are responsible for having designed and sold unlicensed devices that use spectrum licensed to LightSquared and its predecessor companies.
In response to leaked claims that 75 percent of tested receivers failed the most recent round of testing against the LightSquared signal, Dr Javad Ashjaee, president and CEO of JAVAD GNSS, wrote a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski noting that any GPS receiver that failed the test against the LightSquared signal will also fail against many other existing transmitting systems. “The problem is in the design of the GPS receivers that were tested,” he said. “Anyone can test this. Take any low-end GPS receiver similar to those they claim ‘failed’ the test and get close to some FM radio transmitting stations, for example.” He urged the FCC to establish guidelines for GPS receivers. “The FCC should mandate that any receiver used for critical applications must show their signal-to-noise numbers, so every user can see degradations when they encounter interference,” the letter said. “Had the FCC established and enforced receiver standards to begin with, we could have avoided this entire interference debate between LightSquared and the GPS industry.”
Indian Defence inks deal with Russia on Glonass
An Indian defence team of scientists and defence brass inked an agreement with Russia for receiving precision signals from Glonass. These signals will allow missiles, including those fi red from nuclear submarine Chakra, to strike within half a metre of distant targets.
According to NIS Glonass, it will start its India operation in the fi rst quarter of 2012 with its head offi ce in Mumbai and regional offi ces in Delhi and Chandigarh. The company is part of JSFC Sistema, the largest public diversifi ed fi nancial corporation in Russia and the CIS and manages a business portfolio of highgrowth consumer service companies. So far, the company has done pilots with Glonis Solution and HBL Power Systems in the Indian market related to fl eet management system. For embedded system, the company has signed up with Tata Elxsi.
European Commission rolls out free software for EGNOS Developers
The European Commission has introduced free, downloadable and readyto- use software tools to help anyone develop enhanced location and timing applications that harness the power of Europe’s European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS). EGNOS, which began operations earlier this year, provides real-time satellite-based corrections and integrity monitoring for GPS satellite signals.
Around 45 percent survey respondents of European Navigation Conference 2011 felt that in year 2020 the order in which the GNSS systems reach the mass market would be GPS-GLONASS-Compass-Galileo. This option was supported by GNSS users (62 percent) and industry/service providers (55 percent) than those in the government/ public sector (50 percent) and consultancy/ academic (43 percent) categories. The survey was conducted by Helios during the European Navigation Conference 2011 on 30 November 2011 in London. Delegates were asked 8 questions with multiple choice answers. Using handheld keypads and live electronic voting, they were then asked to vote. The survey was participated by 140 delegates and some of the results were compared with a previous survey held in 2007. Around 56 percent of the participants felt that North America would lead in innovation in GNSS and navigation industry in year 2020. Despite the launch of Galileo satellites, 43 percent of the respondents were of the opinion that the Galileo Open Service would be ready only at 2020 or later. Around 50 percent of the respondent believed that the most widely adopted solution to GNSS vulnerability would be MEMS/INS integration.
India to provide Glonass equipments
In a joint statement, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that Russia and India intend to cooperate in the production of satellite navigation equipments and to provide services to civilian users of the Glonass system.
EGNOS extends its reach to the UK and Germany
EGNOS Safety-of-Life signal for aviation is set to extend from France and Switzerland to the UK and Germany, according to the European Space Agency (ESA). The system is the European equivalent of the ‘Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)’ overlay service in use across North America, which is today being used by more than 40 000 aircraft with more than 2000 landing procedures published. French airports Pau Pyrénées, Clemont- Ferrand and Le Bourget were the fi rst to authorise use of EGNOS, joined last month by Les Eplatures Airport and St. Gallen-Altenrhein Airport in Switzerland, planning to use it as a lowcost backup to ILS in the event of bad weather. Germany’s Federal Supervisory Authority for Air Navigation Services has given permission for EGNOS to be used across 38 German airports from 15 December onwards.
Iran controls US Drone with GPS spoofing
Using GPS spoofi ng technique, Iran guided the “lost” stealth US drone (RQ-170 Sentinel) to an intact landing inside hostile territory, according to an Iranian engineer now working on the captured drone’s systems inside Iran. The engineer explained that Iran used the knowledge gleaned from previous downed US drones and a technique proudly claimed by Iranian commanders in September, the Iranian specialists then reconfi gured the drone’s GPS coordinates to make it land in Iran at what the drone thought was its actual home base in Afghanistan. The US military has reportedly been aware of vulnerabilities with pirating unencrypted drone data streams since the Bosnia campaign in the mid-1990s.