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Apr 2010 | No Comment

ISRO budget 2010

In the recent Budget, presented by the Indian Finance Minister, the allocation
for the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) was pegged
at Rs 262.10 crore against the revised estimates of Rs 220 crore last year.

India, Russia to produce GPS receivers

India and Russia are planning for a joint venture to produce dual band GPS / GLONASS receivers for civilian and military use. “We are actively working on a project to establish a joint venture on Indian territory to produce various navigation equipment” said CEO of Navigation and Information Systems (NIS) Alexander Gurko said.

Boost for Indian maritime safety

VXL Technologies Distress Alert Transmitter (DAT) is a GPS based search
and rescue beacon, which promises to strengthen India’s maritime safety and
security system. In case of distress at sea, DAT fitted on-board the vessel
sends out a continuous stream of signals to the INSAT 3A satellite of ISRO,
which then beams the signals down to the Chennai-based Maritime Rescue
Coordination Centre (MRCC) of the Indian Coast Guard. With an accuracy
of less than 5 metres it allows the Coast Guard to locate the craft in distress, even
on the high seas and in adverse weather conditions.

Sat-nav under threat from ‘jammers’

Technology that depends on satellite-navigation signals is increasingly
threatened by attack from widely available equipment, experts say. While
“jamming” sat-nav equipment with noise signals is on the rise, more sophisticated
methods allow hackers even to program what receivers display. A UK meeting
outlining the risks was held at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. It
was organised by the government-funded Digital Systems Knowledge Transfer
Network. What brought this group of policy-makers, academics and industry
figures together, is that the signals can be easily swamped by equipment back
on Earth. The immediate solution to the problem is not clear.

Map of Chilean Earthquake

The Central and Southern Andes GPS Project (CAP) team led by Mike Bevis at
Ohio State University have computed the coseismic displacement field associated
with the recent earthquake in south-central Chile. Peak measured displacement is
3.04 meters near the city of Concepcion, Chile. Precise point positioning was used
to determine the position of the GPS station near Concepcion every 30 seconds
during the hour of the earthquake. Results show that most of the approximately
3-meter displacement occurred within about 60 seconds of the onset of the
earthquake. A precise trajectory of the station during the earthquake will be
determined once the high-rate (1 Hz) data currently stored at the station is
made available.

Raytheon to enhance Air Traffic Management Systems in India

Raytheon has been awarded a contract by the Airports Authority of India to automate
air traffic control services at the Chennai International airport. Raytheon will install
AutoTrac III to help reduce delays in aircraft arrival and departure. It will also
have real-time meteorological information to assist air traffic controllers in adjusting
to changing weather conditions. Raytheon is also upgrading air traffic management
systems at the International Airports of Mumbai and New Delhi. AutoTrac III
features a new generation of flight and surveillance data processing systems to
ensure air traffic safety.

Delayed GLONASS Satellites launched

Roscosmos has confirmed a successful launch of the GLONASS-M satellites.
In the first communication session with the satellites, telemetry data was
obtained that confirmed that the state of all systems of the spacecraft is normal
and corresponds to the flight program. The satellites launched were numbers
31, 32, and 35.

GPS tariff hike to be decided year end

Proposed increases for import duties on navigators supporting only the GPS system
are expected to be agreed on by the end of this year, said Alexander Gurko, head of

ESA receiver brings satnav indoors

The ESA’s DINGPOS (Demonstrator for Indoor GNSS Positioning) project
combines a highly-sensitive receiver capable of picking up GPS and Galileo
signals indoors with additional positioning methods. These include accelerometer
and gyroscope sensors, local WiFi based positioning and ‘map-matching’
– associating available location data of its user in terms of a computer model of
the building concerned, like a character moving through a video game. A pair of
consortia – one led by IFEN in Germany in partnership with UFAF, AUDENS and
Telespazio and the other led by GMV in Spain and Portugal in partnership
with TAS-F, UAB, ADI and Saphirion – are developing and testing separate
platforms in parallel.

Sunderbans will drown in 60 years

The World Wildlife Fund has warned that in 60 years vast tracts of the rare
mangrove forests of Sunderban will be inundated by the rising sea. Unlike
previous efforts in a study, focussed on Sunderbans in Bangladesh, WWF’s
deputy director of conservation science Colby Loucks and his colleagues used a
high-resolution digital elevation model with eight estimates of sea level rise to
predict the impact on tiger habitat and population size. The team was able to
come up with the most accurate predictions till date by importing over 80,000 GPS
elevation points.

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