GNSS data points and factoids to amuse and inform
Portland, Oregon; Munich; Phoenix, Arizona; Washington D.C.; Xichang Launch Center; Japan
1. WHO WON?
Portland, Oregon and Munich, Germany
√ Judges all over the world are poring over 357 GNSS app innovations submitted to the 2010 European Satellite Navigation Contest from Europe, Australia, the Middle East, Taiwan and North America. Inside GNSS's USA Challenge will announce our five finalists at ION GNSS 2010 in Portland, Oregon. The winners will celebrate on October 18 in Munich.
2. HOT PURSUIT
√ Will GPS technology kill the Hollywood high-speed car chase? Arizona police are using the StarChase system to shoot a laser-guided sticky GPS module from a compressed air launcher onto an escaping vehicle. They track the car in real time from a secure Internet connection. Today, Steve McQueen's famous 1968 Bullitt car chase would have been over much too soon.
Read the Arizona Department of Public Safety news article here
3. GOT A WARRANT?
√ Secret, long-term GPS surveillance data that helped put a Washington D.C. drug kingpin away violated the Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable search, said the D.C. Court of Appeals. California and New York appellate judges don't agree. Locating individuals 24/7 using GPS may be simple, undetectable and cheap - but the thorny debate rages on.
Read USA v. Lawrence Maynard (Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia), August 6, 2010 decision here
4. WHERE IN THE WORLD IS....
√ Letitia A. Long became the fifth director of the 14-year-old National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency at a ceremony on August 9. The electrical and mechanical engineer and seasoned intelligence executive said, "I have never seen an agency as young as the NGA do so much in so little time." She's the first woman to lead a major U.S. intel agency.
5. CHINA'S FIRST IGSO
Xichang Satellite Launch Center, China (SW Sichuan province)
√ China launched its fifth Compass (Beidou2) satellite - and first inclined geostationary orbit spacecraft - on August 1. Two other IGSOs will join 5 GEOs and 27 MEOs when the 35-constellation system is complete. The system update will be discussed at the officially sanctioned Shanghai NaviForum conference on September 1-2.
6. MICHIBIKI INTERACTIVE
Tanegashima Space Center, Japan
√ Michibiki, Japan's first quasi-zenith satellite, will launch on September 11. But even better for us earthlings is QZ-Vision, JAXA's interactive web site for accessing operations data from the spacecraft. And there's more! Interviews with experts, cartoons, and screensavers and, for the young at heart, a 3-D model of Michibiki to play with online.
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