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GNSS Hotspots

GNSS data points and factoids to amuse and inform

Seattle; Park City, Utah; Baikonur spaceport; Satish Dhawan space center; Tanegashiwa space center

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Seattle, Washington USA
√ Want to know where an earthquake will occur and how big it will be? The Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array (PANGA) geodesy lab can tell you. They use 350 continuously operating high-precision GPS receivers and can analyze and share quake data in less than a minute. (Fact: A megaquake is likely 50 miles from Seattle).

PANGA's website

Park City, Utah USA
√ A young tourist asked Google Maps to plot a safe route during a nighttime walk around a Utah resort. The map guided her to a 4-lane highway, where she was hit by a car and sued Google for $100,000. No word if the driver was relying on his car’s navigation or crash-avoidance technologies at the time.

See the case here

3. 100% COMPLETE
Baikonur spaceport, Kazakhstan
√ Russia’s GLONASS constellation will be complete by the end of December 2010, said a JSC Russian Space Systems spokesman at the APEC/GIT meeting in Seattle in June. Three space vehicles are scheduled to launch from Baikonur on September 2, and another three at the end of December. Russia needs 24 satellites for global coverage.

Satish Dhawan Space Center (SHAR), India
Turbo-pump failure caused the April crash of India’s GSLV rocket and the loss of its GSAT-4 satellite that carried the country’s first GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload. On July 9, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said liquid hydrogen stopped flowing into the rocket’s thrust chamber right after ignition. No word on when, or on which launcher, GAGAN may fly again.

Tanegashima Space Center, Japan
√ Japan’s space agency, JAXA, has postponed the August 2 launch of Michibiki, its first Quazi-Zenith Satellite, due to problems with the onboard reaction wheels. JAXA has decided to replace the parts. By 2013, QZSS’s planned three-satellite constellation will augment GPS over Japan, strengthening the signal in mountains and urban areas.

JAXA website

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