Through a scanner, darkly

Feb 2008 | Comments Off on Through a scanner, darkly

Technological milestones in GNSS in 2008

John Kelly
Technical director/architect, Rockwell Collins

Any look into the crystal ball of (even the near) future is fraught with caveats, error, and less than perfect clarity. However, certain extrapolations and not-so-wild guesses do exist.

GNSS, General – Existing (and near term proposed) systems will continue to expand, receive modernization support, and move (slowly) towards increased interest in securitizing systems and data utilized in the GNSS sourceto- user “food chain”. Nationalism of systems and (at least regionalism of) augmentation sources will progress.

Left unknown is GALILEO and the impact of a renewed GLONASS. It is likely that increasing signal saturation on GNSSfrequencies will contribute to a heightened interest in non-L band GNSS (and non-SV or even non-RF) methods of navigation, although advances will continue very slowly due to technological challenges.

Tracking and “reverse tracking” – The convergence of mapping and communications will continue at breakneck speed, further enabling the location (and status) monitoring of additional high to medium value objects. While awaiting for other technologies to enable true ultra-low cost commoditization of GNSS and comms elements (required for obsequious tracking of the high quantity of lowervalue items in the world), additional value will be obtained by “reverse” tracking, or exploiting more of the information gleaned by knowing location and presence of objects to provide newservices and opportunities.


Others: Due to the constraints of space, let me list some additional ideas (or at least general memes) to look for in 2008 and beyond – PPS GPS for commercial flight, decline of terrestrial augmentation sources, increase in terrestrial and space based imaging and survey networks, convergence in mapping sources, increase in pay
for precision services, increase in communications/navigation convergence, acceleration in commoditization of GNSS components, and a slow advance in antenna technology. Here’s to 2008.

My coordinates
Mark your calendar
May 09 TO DECEMBER 2009

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