Survey

LightSquared’s Toughest Week So Far

September 16, 2011By

Like a bad week on the stock exchange, LightSquared hit speed bump after speed bump this week. After Monday when the company boldly claimed there would "be a resolution within a month" to the GPS interference problem, the FCC spanked them Tuesday by ordering more testing. The rest of the week turned even more sour. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Newsletter Editorials, Opinions, Survey, Surveying

Locata, A New Constellation: ICD and Live Demos at ION-GNSS 2011

September 1, 2011By

"A large number of companies and engineers have thrown billions of dollars at trying to improve GPS in urban and indoor applications,” states Locata Corporation co-founder Nunzio Gambale. “From a technological perspective, Locata has created something completely new: the capability to autonomously create a GPS-style system on the ground.” Members of the GNSS community can see for themselves at Locata’s coming-out party at ION-GNSS 2011, including release of a Locata signal interface control document (ICD). GPS World took an advance look at the technology in a June trial of the demo that all ION attendees can see. This article presents these reports. read more

LightSquared: The Ball is in the FCC’s Court

August 18, 2011By

The FCC's public comment period regarding the LightSquared/GPS interference issue has ended and the reply comment period is over as well. To date, more than 3,300 comments were entered that the FCC must sift through and arrive at some sort of conclusion. Following are my last comments filed with the FCC as well as my best guess at where this is heading. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Newsletter Editorials, Opinions, Survey, Survey Scene

Last Week’s Solar Storm and the Final LightSquared Push

August 10, 2011By

You may not have noticed it, but last Friday we experienced the first serious geomagnetic storm in this solar cycle (Solar Cycle 24), which began in 2009. Not all types of solar activity (sun spots, solar flares, solar burst, and solar radiation) affect GPS receiver operations. Geomagnetic storms are the ones that can cause problems for GPS receivers if those storms are powerful enough. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Newsletter Editorials, Opinions, Survey, Survey Scene

LightSquared: Comments I Submitted to the FCC

July 28, 2011By

Okay, folks, this is where the rubber meets the road. The FCC LightSquared public comment period ends this Saturday. If you use GPS, it would be very wise to submit your comments today. Don't expect the FCC to make a rational decision. LightSquared has an amazing amount of political influence, and you can see that in the support they receive from state legislators, mayors, chiefs of police, etc. In this article, I'll show you how to submit your comments to the FCC in just five minutes. I'll also show comments I'm submitting to the FCC. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Newsletter Editorials, Opinions, Survey, Survey Scene

LightSquared: 1, High-Precision GPS: 0

July 14, 2011By

At stake is the high-precision GPS industry as we know it. If LightSquared's current proposal is approved by the FCC, it will render tens of thousands, and possibly hundreds of thousands of GPS receivers obsolete starting as early as next year. The FCC is accepting public comments until July 30 and replies to those comments until August 15. After the public comment period is closed, the FCC can render a decision at any time. Last weekend, I spoke alongside LightSquared and the Coalition to Save Our GPS in a two-hour panel discussion at the Esri Survey Summit in San Diego. Here's my report. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Newsletter Editorials, Opinions, Survey, Survey Scene

The System: LightSquared Interference with GPS

July 1, 2011By

And the Beat Goes on Developments in the LightSquared saga came fast and furious in June; highlights are listed below and briefly recapped in the adjacent news story. It will be dated by the time you receive this issue, as it went to press three weeks prior. For current events, see Top Story and Latest News, and the full versions... read more

This article is tagged with and posted in GNSS, OEM, Survey News, The System, Transportation

On the Edge: Tracking Slips and Creeps: Earthquake Monitoring Gets Substantial Boost from GPS

July 1, 2011By
Arrow on a Velocity Field Map of Oregon and Washington represent ground motion as measured by GPS at each particular location. The grey circles are 2 sigma error ellipses (click to enlarge.)

The Earth’s surface is constantly shifting, being deformed as earthquake faults accumulate strain, and slip or slowly creep over time. Not long ago, scientists relied solely on seismometers to monitor the earth’s movements. Today, GPS has taken prominence as an indispensible tool. PANGA, the monitoring network covering the Pacific Northwest, uses GPS to monitor this movement by measuring the precise position (within 5 millimeters or less) of stations near active faults relative to each other. By determining how the stations have moved, ground deformation can be determined. read more