From the Magazine

Robot: Target on Its Back

August 1, 2013By
A robot target vehicle with the footprint of a car measure 4 inches high.

A new state-of-the-art research center runs car-makers’ safety systems through their paces, in tandem with a soft-target robot that can be crash-impacted without adverse effects. Precise positioning and exact repeatability of test sequences are key criteria. read more

Automatic Threat Assessment: Tracking System Tells Friend from Foe

August 1, 2013By
THE COMBINATION of intrusion sensors and a tracking system allows for Automatic Threat Detection.

Ongoing threats from terrorist activities at critical facilities require early detection before the threats can reach their target and complete their mission. This has produced the need for advanced security systems to effectively detect terrorist activity, while reducing alarms caused by normal friendly activity. Automatic Threat Assessment, also referred to as Identify Friend or Foe (IFF), is the ability to automatically acknowledge alarms created by friendly assets. It can be achieved with a security system that uses GPS and geospatial data to go beyond the typical intrusion-sensor-only configuration. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in From the Magazine, Personal Tracking, Security & Surveillance

Innovation: Getting a Grip on Multi-GNSS

July 1, 2013By
Fig1_new

The International GNSS Service MGEX Campaign
GPS is almost 40 years old. While mass consumer use of GPS began only within the past decade or so, GPS was "born" during the Labor Day weekend of 1973, when about a dozen military officers and industry analysts under the leadership of Brad Parkinson met to consolidate the concept for a single satellite-based navigation system for the U.S. Department of Defense. Their proposal for NAVSTAR GPS was approved on December 22, 1973. The first satellite to be launched under the GPS program, on July 14, 1974, was the Naval Research Laboratory’s Navigation Technology Satellite (NTS) 1. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in BeiDou/Compass, From the Magazine, Galileo, GLONASS, GPS Modernization, Innovation

Every Computer a Mobile Computer

July 1, 2013By
Fleming-opener

Organizations across business and public sectors, and including the military, now expect a high degree and broad range of functionality in the palms of workers’ hands, wherever those workers may go, in any kind of hazardous, chaotic, demanding environment. Requirements for location accuracy rise consistently across the board. In the future — in other words, now — developers will be asked to write mobile software applications first, and desktop applications second. read more

Col. Bernard Gruber, GPS Directorate: Farewell Perspective on GPS Program

June 12, 2013By

I first met just-pinned-on, shiny and bright, Captain Bernard Gruber-USAF in 1992. Bernie had just arrived at the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base in California where he would hold several important positions. For those readers not aware of the mission and importance of the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), today SMC, which began... read more

Innovation: GNSS Spoofing Detection

June 1, 2013By
In-opener

It's a hostile (electronic) world out there, people. Our wired and radio-based communication systems are constantly under attack from evil doers. We are all familiar with computer viruses and worms hiding in malicious software or malware distributed over the Internet or by infected USB flash drives. Trojan horses are particularly insidious. These are programs concealing harmful code that can lead to many undesirable effects such as deleting a user’s files or installing additional harmful software. Such programs pass themselves off as benign, just like the “gift” the Greeks delivered to the Trojans as reported in Virgil’s Aeneid. This was a very early example of spoofing. read more

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

Following the Team into Danger

June 1, 2013By
Ma-opener

When a team of firefighters, first responders, or soldiers operates inside a building, in urban canyons, underground, in foliage, or under the forest canopy, the GPS-denied environment presents unique navigation challenges. An enhanced personal inertial navigation system (ePINS), based on a strapdown navigation solution using a mid-grade IMU and wavelet-based motion-classification algorithms, can track positions with errors of less than 2 percent of distance traveled in both indoor and outdoor environments. read more

Innovation: Evil Waveforms

May 1, 2013By
Innov-evilwave-O2

Generating Distorted GNSS Signals Using a Signal Simulator
In this month’s column, our authors discuss a set of GPS and Galileo evil-waveform experiments they have carried out with an advanced GNSS RF signal simulator. Their results will help to benchmark the effects of distorted signals and perhaps lead to improvements in GNSS signal integrity. read more