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Top Five Events in GPS/GNSS for 2010: A Year-End Review

December 16, 2010 - By

With this being my last column in 2010, I'm going to look back at the five significant GPS/GNSS events in 2010 that affected the surveying, mapping, engineering, construction and natural resource users. Each of these had, or could've had a significant affect on your GPS activities. read more

This article is tagged with , and posted in Opinions, Survey

Letters to the Editor: Another View of GPS Origins

December 9, 2010 - By

Excerpt: "The articles in the May and June issues of GPS World on the origins of GPS by Drs. Bradford Parkinson and Stephen Powers presented a detailed view of the people involved in the development of the GPS Program. This view on the origin of GPS essentially begins with the so-called “Lonely Halls” meeting where Dr. Parkinson and a group of Air Force officers invented the GPS concept that was subsequently developed by the teams of people discussed in some detail." PLUS: Brad Parkinson replies. read more

This article is tagged with , and posted in From the Magazine, Opinions

GLONASS Launch Failed, Three Satellites Crash into Pacific Ocean

December 6, 2010 - By

The Russian Federal Space Agency announced that the December 5 launch of three GLONASS satellites ended in failure when the Proton rocket's Block DM upper stage and its three payloads crashed into the Pacific Ocean about 1,500 kilometers, or 932 miles, northwest of Honolulu, according to reports. Although an investigation will look into the exact cause of the failure, early unconfirmed reports indicate a software error. read more

This article is tagged with , , , , and posted in GNSS

Down and Deep

December 1, 2010 - By

As we all know, GPS is practically perfect in every way — as long as it’s outside and unobstructed. Even cell phones can now produce meter-level accuracy under open sky. There are still many deficiencies in state-of-the-art location, particularly in deep urban canyons and inside large buildings. Which technologies will lead personal navigation into the future? read more

This article is tagged with , , and posted in Personal Navigation

Death of a Smartphone, Birth of an Ad Trend

December 1, 2010 - By

From a distance, the Garmin-Asus partnership to produce GPS-enabled smartphones looked pretty good — particularly during the market erosion for portable navigation devices. However, published reports indicate that the companies will not renew their partnership in January 2011. Switzerland-based Garmin and its Dutch competitor TomTom have seen steeply declining sales for personal navigation devices (PNDs) since the high point of the market two years ago, industry observers say. read more

This article is tagged with , , and posted in Mobile, Opinions

Expert Advice: The Strategic Significance of Compass

December 1, 2010 - By

On November 1, 2010, China’s state news agency reported that the sixth Compass satellite was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. This was the fourth Compass satellite put into orbit this year, following launches in January, June, and August. Joining the United States, Russia, and the European Union, China is deploying is own global navigation satellite system of five geosynchronous satellites, 27 in medium Earth orbit (MEO) and three in highly inclined geosynchronous orbits (IGSO). Sometimes referred to as Beidou-2, Compass is a global RNSS (radio-navigation satellite system) that broadcasts one-way precision time signals to enable receivers to calculate their position. An earlier Chinese satellite navigation system, Beidou-1, was an RDSS (radio-determination satellite system) that provided regional coverage and required two satellites to get a position fix using two-way communications with a centralized ground station. read more

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The System: QZSS Puts L1C on the Air

December 1, 2010 - By

QZSS Puts L1C on the Air JAVAD Receivers Track the First Truly Interoperable Signal JAVAD GNSS engineers in Moscow have released plots of the C/A, L2C, L5, SAIF, and the new L1C signals broadcast by Japan’s QZSS Michibiki, the first satellite to transmit L1C. The company stated that all of its current GNSS receivers can track QZSS signals with a... read more

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Out in Front: One and One

December 1, 2010 - By

Two figures for your holiday mulling here. I keep putting one and one together, and coming up with three. The first one points to a value of $1,000 billion. Or, as we like to say, one trillion dollars. That has a nice ring to it. The second one hovers at a lower level, around $230 billion, not nearly as melodic as the first. But if the second one creates the first one, how much magic is there in that — do you see what I’m saying? read more

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