Retailers, airspace, undetectable drones: UAV developments zoom ahead

June 17, 2016By

A lot is happening in the world of UAVs. Amazon and Walmart are making plans toward faster delivery of goods by drone, while TV dramas bring drones into their stories. And evaluation and test of technologies to protect airports and aircraft from unwanted drone incursions is picking up speed — while sense-and-avoid technology takes big steps forward toward integration of... read more

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Expert Opinions: UAV PNT commercial requirements

June 13, 2016By

Q: What different requirements for UAV PNT performance will be seen as the market shifts from a military focus to commercial uses and users? A: PNT accuracy, availability and assurance will increase in importance. UAV payloads for military applications routinely require precise PNT information to geolocate sensor data for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. High-end commercial applications for survey and... read more

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Prince’s death highlights 911 location issues

June 9, 2016By

By Tracy Cozzens Managing Editor Prince’s death on April 21 highlights a fatal flaw in the United States’ antiquated 911 emergency system. When you call from cell phone, 911 doesn’t automatically know where you are. 911 often can’t determine the location of an emergency, even when the call for help comes from a GPS-equipped smartphone. Often the 911 operator can only... read more

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Iridium and GPS revisited: A new PNT solution on the horizon?

June 8, 2016By
Replica of Iridium satellite. (Photo courtesy of Iridium)

How many times have you heard of a nearly 20-year-old space constellation being modified with a new technology? It almost never happens. Get the details on Iridium's new Satellite Time and Location System. read more

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OS providers: 800-pound gorillas in PNT jungle

June 7, 2016By

It’s funny sometimes how things work out. I had just been preparing to take up in this column an issue raised last September at the ION-GNSS+ Plenary Session. Literally at the very moment I set pen to paper, notice of an extremely positive response to the problem arrived in my inbox. Hypercoincidental as it may be, market forces can and... read more

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Establishing orthometric heights using GNSS — Part 7

June 2, 2016By
Figure 1. Leveling Network Design Used in the General Adjustment of the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (Figure 3 from the report).

Basic procedures and tools for determining valid NAVD 88 heights for constraints To date, the six parts of “Establishing Orthometric Heights Using GNSS” have provided the reader with basic concepts, routines and procedures for understanding, analyzing, evaluating and estimating GNSS-derived ellipsoid and orthometric heights. In Part 5 of this series, we discussed National Geodetic Survey’s NGS 59 guidelines and methods for evaluating the results... read more

GNSS jam-proof test range ready for customer testing

May 25, 2016By
Locatalite transceiver installation in the White Sands Missile Range Ultra High-Accuracy Reference System, provided by the U.S. Air Force for testing equipment under conditions of GPS jamming.

A new dimension in real-world PNT testing has arrived. One of the most critical things to predict for chips, receivers and devices using alternative or back-up PNT technologies is how they will actually perform without GPS. Filling this need, the U.S. Air Force 746th Test Squadron has declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for its new truth reference, the Ultra High-Accuracy... read more

AUVSI showcases Xponential growth of UAV market

May 18, 2016By
AUVSI's newly christened "Xponential" show drew together hundreds of commercial UAV products and services. (Photo: Joelle Harms, GPS World)

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) hosted another big UAV show this month. Renamed Xponential, to denote the rapid growth in unmanned systems, the May 2-5 gathering in New Orleans was up to its billing — with 8,000 attendees from 55 countries, and 650 exhibitors. The morning plenary sessions notably included a pitch from Amazon for a low-level, high-speed transit... read more

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