Expert Advice & Leadership Talks

Expert Advice: Are We There Yet?

March 1, 2010By

At the start of a new decade, let’s examine the state of the GNSS consumer market and technology. In the December 2009 issue of GPS World, I described the developments that put GPS in cell phones over the last decade. That technology revolution has brought GPS a very long way. Having come this far, we can ask that most famous of all navigation questions: Are we there yet? read more

Expert Advice: Integrity: Lessons from the 2008 Financial Collapse

February 1, 2010By

Deterministic risk modeling, the basis of the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) at the core of modern quantitative finance, is known to be fundamentally flawed, but its elegance and convenience has blinded researchers to growing evidence of its weaknesses. The near-complete acceptance of the EMH led to models that dramatically accentuate its flaws, which in turn led to absurd but eagerly accepted conclusions for loan-default risk. These models proved dramatically vulnerable to changes in the housing market in 2007–2008 and led directly to the ensuing crash. read more

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Expert Advice: Availability Gaps: Solutions for Aviation

December 1, 2009By

Recent attention given to aging GPS satellites and availability gaps from lagging constellation replenishment have provoked deep concern, particularly within the aviation community. Available remedies include exploitation of well known but unused methods plus new techniques; those discussed here have future relevance, with or without availability gaps. Even with far greater coverage from multiple GNSS, crises could emerge from severely stronger interference levels or other unforeseen events. Advance preparation for any such occurrence would avoid the waste, confusion, and blind alleys that generally arise with the sudden appearance of an emergency. read more

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Expert Advice: GPS Constellation Maxed Out at 30

November 1, 2009By
Figure 2. The number satellites set healthy since 1998 (courtesy of Analytical Graphics, Inc.)

It appears that the GPS satellite constellation has a glass ceiling, so to speak. GPS was designed as a 24-satellite constellation, with four satellites in six orbital planes arranged to provide maximum observability around the globe. According to the government’s Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing website, “The U.S. government is committed to provide a minimum of 24 operational GPS satellites on orbit, 95 percent of the time. The U.S. Air Force launches additional satellites that function as active spares to accommodate periodic satellite maintenance downtime and assure the availability of at least 24 operating satellites. As of August 28, 2009, there were 35 satellites in the GPS constellation, with 30 set ‘healthy’ to users.” read more

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Expert Advice: GPS Forensics, Crime, and Jamming

October 1, 2009By

The most widely used of all GPS devices are in-car navigators. When vehicles carrying navigators are used for criminal purposes, records contained in the devices may be examined. Such investigations rely on newly developed forensic techniques that employ a combination of computer expertise and navigation knowledge, yielding valuable data for crime investigators. read more

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Expert Advice: All Rise, GPS Entering the Court

July 1, 2009By

In the litigious society that we have become, it is not surprising to see GPS as a regular fixture in many civil and criminal proceedings in our nation?s courts. A new and growing outlet for the legal profession, it has also engaged many of the older GPS pioneers who, instead of just retiring, have found a relatively lucrative way to spend their free time. They now form the cadre of GPS expert witnesses, without whom many of the cases involving positioning could not be settled equitably. read more

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Expert Advice: GLONASS Business Prospects

March 1, 2008By

Similar in many aspects to GPS, GLONASS has performed much less successfully on a commercial scale, failing - so far - to create significant business worldwide. Today, however, the commercialization of GLONASS has taken a new and more promising direction, receiving strong encouragement from the Russian government. We look forward to GLONASS being completely restored to its full operational capabilities within the next few years, and we are certain that this time GLONASS will create successful business opportunities worldwide. read more

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