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GNSS Hotspots

GNSS data points and factoids to amuse and inform

Olathe, Kansas; Silver Spring, Maryland; Kourou; London; Brussels, Tanegashima Space Center

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1. GARMIN RECALL
Olathe, Kansas USA

√ In late August, Kansas-based GPS consumer manufacturer Garmin International Inc. recalled 1.25 million Nuvi GPS units whose batteries can overheat and catch fire. In September, Nissan and Suzuki recalled Nuvi units in their vehicles. Check the special recall website to see if you are affected.

2. VERTICAL CHALLENGE
Silver Spring, Maryland USA
GRAV-D, a National Geodetic Survey (NGS) project, is re-defining the U.S. vertical datum. Join the Kinematic GPS Challenge and give them a hand. You’ll compute position solutions using 2008 data and they will use the submitted GPS positions to find the best processing techniques for all the data to come. (NGS promises to share results). www.ngs.noaa.gov

3. FIRST IN LINE?
Paris, France and Korou, French Guyana
√ Europe’s version of Russia’s Soyuz rocket is delayed again, according to CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall of Arianespace. But it could go up as early as spring 2011 if the first two Galileo In-Orbit Validation satellites are chosen for the inaugural flight from Guiana space center. According to a September 7 story in Space News, Galileo officials did not want to be first, but Le Gall said, “ESA has indicated this is no longer a problem. “

4. THE PERFECT DRESS
London, England
√ London’s CuteCircuit founder Francesca Rosella designed this black silk jersey GSM phone just for you. According to Marketplace, she started out at Esprit asking why not put GPS into a purse? “And then, like, if you forget your purse somewhere . . . you can just give it a call!” The M-Dress, her latest creation, uses gesture-recognition software and soft circuitry — and presumably GNSS.

5. WE NEED TO TALK
Brussels, Belgium
√ The European Parliament will gather government, banking, and industrial leaders in Brussels on October 26-27 for a high-level space policy conference. A session on the state of play of the main European space programs will emphasize Galileo and the GMES initiative (Global Monitoring of Environment and Security). Bound to be interesting.

6. MORE SATELLITES!
Tanegashima Space Center, Japan
√ It’s been a busy summer for GNSS launch crews everywhere. Japan’s first quasi-zenith satellite system (QZSS) vehicle went up on September 11. It joined three GLONASS-M satellites launched September 2; China’s first IGSO Compass satellite, launched August 1; and GPS IIF-1, which made the trip on May 28. All are doing well.

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