Public Safety

On the Edge: Southwest Shakes

March 1, 2012By
Researchers used data from 25 continuous GPS stations installed as part of the EarthScope Rio Grande Rift GPS experiment, supplemented by data from other GPS monuments in the southwestern U.S., resulting in a data set of daily position estimates of 284 GPS monuments for the years 2006 through 2010.

Using a large network of GPS stations, a team of researchers has found that the Rio Valley Rift in the Southwest United States — previously suspected to be dead — is slowly expanding, at a rate of about 0.1 millimeter per year. The Rio Grande Rift extends from Colorado’s central Rocky Mountains to Mexico. read more

Out in Front: When the Gavel Comes Down

February 1, 2012By

Perhaps you don’t track suspected criminals in your spare time, nor do you design or supply a GNSS product that does so. Still, the fresh Supreme Court ruling on GPS use for this purpose reverberates for you, in ways yet unknown. The most interesting part of the court’s ruling pops up in a somewhat open-ended “what if” comment concerning future issues that at least one justice thinks the court should address. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in From the Editor, GNSS, GNSS Opinions, Government, Government Opinions, Opinions, Public Safety

Supreme Court Rules Warrant Needed for GPS Tracking

January 23, 2012By

GPS trackers are a form of search, and to use them police must have a search warrant, according to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling today. The high court issued a unanimous ruling that a search warrant is required before police slap a GPS tracker on a criminal suspect's vehicle to monitor the suspect's movements, reports the Associated Press. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Government, Government News, Public Safety

Expert Advice: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

January 1, 2012By

Across transportation, agriculture, industry, commerce, and finance, GPS has replaced earlier technologies, opened up innovative applications, and led to new ways of doing old things. GPS now plays a key role in the critical infrastructures of all industrialized nations, from the most sophisticated telecommunications system to the production of a simple loaf of bread. Wheat is the world’s second staple food, and bread its main product. Bakers have been around for 30,000 years. GPS, among its manifold other duties, now also helps bring us our breakfast toast and midday sandwich. read more

Tamper Resistance

April 1, 2011By

Modern GNSS will provide access control to the signal through spreading-code encryption and/or authentication at the navigation data level. This will require support within the receiver for secure cryptographic keys and the implementation of security functions. This article reviews vulnerabilities of these security functions, and reviews design considerations to mitigate attacks. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Government, Public Safety, Security & Surveillance, Transportation

On the Edge: Galileo to the Rescue

February 1, 2011By

mergency Alert: Bus collision in Berchtesgaden, parking area Salzbergwerk. Many injured. Bus overturned, some thrown from vehicle, some trapped inside. Local temperature below freezing, snow falling. All crews respond immediately.” 
 The alarm operations center for the state of Bavaria receives this message from the accident location, and swiftly moves into coordinating activity, gathering and distributing real-time geospatial data and other key information to all emergency teams and medical facilities in the area. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Government, Public Safety

Innovation: The Distress Alerting Satellite System

January 1, 2011By
Cospas–Sarsat system.

Taking the Search out of Search and Rescue
In 1997, a Canadian government study determined that an improved search and rescue system would be one based on medium-Earth orbit satellites, which can provide full global coverage, can determine beacon location, and would need fewer ground stations. This month’s column examines the architecture of the GPS-based Distress Alerting Satellite System and takes a look at early test results. read more

Qualitative Motion Analysis: INS/GNSS in Care-Giving Applications

January 1, 2011By

A pocket tracker for elderly people and Alzheimer’s patients consists of a smartphone using GNSS, WLAN, RFID, and GSM for basic positioning, communication channels, and an accelerometer triad for collapse and motion detection. It seeks to determine not only the quantitative where but the qualitative how: has the user lost balance, fallen, or ceased moving? read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Personal Navigation, Personal Tracking, Public Safety