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Feb 2010 | No Comment


Demands of GPS for ships in Philippine

Philippine-based transport group United Transport Koalisyon has urged lawmakers to use GPS for all ships to reduce maritime accidents and also save fuel. It will also help coast guard in tracking down ships in distress.

Indian Dept of Post to install GPS in NE region

To overcome the difficulties and challenges faced in smooth and timely movement of mails and parcels across North-East India, the Department of Post has decided to install GPS to track the movements of its mail motor vehicles in this region. The system shall be operational by March 2010.

Protest against govt’s stand on LORAN

The US federal government’s decision to shut down the LORAN (Long Range Aid to Navigation) system used by fishermen and mariners in Maine is drawing protests from state officials and members of Maine’s Congressional delegation. Governor John Baldacci said, “The LORAN system is needed as a back-up for GPS.” In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, he was concerned about losing the system which had proven to be cost-beneficial. Senator Susan Collins said, “It is a mistake to shut LORAN down.”

China takes one step further towards building indigenous GNSS

China successfully launched its third orbiter into space for the Beidou or COMPASS system. The network will eventually have a total of 35 satellites, capable of providing global navigation service to users around the world by about 2020. It will provide both open and authorized services with open service being free of charge for the system’s users within service area with a resolution of 10 meters for positioning, an accuracy of 10 nanosecond for time signal and an accuracy of 0.2 meter per second for speed measurement. The authorized service will be more accurate for authorized users. China will make its own global navigation system compatible and interoperable with other international competitors like U.S. GPS, GALILEO, GLONASS. The compatibility and interoperability, under the framework of the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU), will make all users benefit from the progress of the satellite navigation’s development.

GPS gets poetic now

New cell phone device that helps illegal immigrants crossing the desert into the U.S. find water is loaded with free GPS software displays a digital compass that locates water stations installed by John Hunter, founder of the Water Stations project. The phone pinpoints “safety sites” — such as Border Patrol station, a clinic or a church — and includes poetry written by Amy Carroll, “Welcome you to the U.S.” It has been encrypted to avoid detection by authorities. This device has been developed under Transborder Immigrant Tool project which was initiated by UC San Diego professor and activist Ricardo Dominguez and UCSD lecturer Brett Stalbaum.

GPS, 50th Space Wings continue improvement initiative

The U.S. Air Force GPS Wing and the 50th Space Wing are ushering in improved GPS capabilities through a new ground system software release. It includes telemetry, tracking and commanding for the new GPS IIF space vehicle and robust security improvements. The planned transition at Schriever Air Force Base is the result of extensive testing to ensure this upgrade is transparent and has no impact to military and civil users. With the pending mid-2010 launch of the first GPS IIF space vehicle, the ground system is prepared to command the new on-orbit GPS IIF capabilities which include a new navigation signal for civil users, encrypted military code, crosslink enhancements, improved navigation signal accuracy and signal power increases.

Joint announcement on US–Japan GPS cooperation

The Governments of the USA and Japan convened a plenary meeting at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. to review and discuss cooperation in the civil use of the GPS and GPS augmentations, including Japan’s Multifunctional Transport Satellite (MTSAT) Satellite-based Augmentation System (MSAS) and Quasi-Zenith Satellite Systems (QZSS).

Safer, more efficient Satellite Based Tracking System

Houston air traffic controllers are beginning to use an improved satellite-based system – Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) — to more efficiently and safely separate and manage aircraft flying over the Gulf of Mexico. ADS-B, which is one of the technologies at the heart of the transformation to NextGen, brings air traffic control to the Gulf of Mexico, an area that has not had the benefit of radar coverage. Aircraft equipped with ADS-B in the region will now know where they are in relation to bad weather and receive flight information including Notice to Airmen and Temporary Flight Restrictions. Prior to ADS-B, commercial aircraft flying at high altitudes were kept as much as 120 miles apart to ensure safety.

Qatar’s inclination towards GPS technology

Qatar’s traffic department will soon introduce a mobile GPS system to alert motorists in knowing in advance the busy streets at any given moment and hence avoid traffic jams. It will be made available on mobile phones with GPS through Google’s Earth.

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