GNSS Data Points and Factoids to Amuse and Inform
Kitty Collars, Toxic Testers, Not THAT Soyuz, Japan's First and Spacekeeping
1. HERE, KITTY KITTY
Santa Cruz, California USA
√ First, get the cougar on the treadmill . . . that’s what UC Santa Cruz researchers did to measure baseline behavior and design a tool that tells what puma concolor do every minute. Their super-advanced CARNIVORE collar uses GNSS and a 3-axis accelerometer to create a 24-hour diary of the wild life.
2. TOXICS TEST
√ 300,000 suspected toxic waste sites in Europe make testing your own dirt a good idea. British entrepreneur Ed Bell invented the briefcase-sized Safe Soil Tester for do-it-yourselfers. Marine bacteria identify carcinogenic PAHs onsite within minutes and map it with Galileo satellites. EUREKA, a European Commission program, funded his R&D.
3. NOT THAT SOYUZ
Evry-Courcouronnes, France and Altai Republic, Russia
√ In a reassuring August 28 release, Arianespace said Galileo’s first launch on October 20 is just fine. The Soyuz-ST rocket scheduled to carry the satellite trio does not use the suspect third-stage motor as did the model that disappeared on its way to the space station, causing a “thunderous explosion” over Siberia.
4. FIRST OF MANY
Tokyo, Japan and Jeju Island, Korea
√ Japan’s first Quasi-Zenith satellite’s positioning signals are A-OK as of July 14. GNSS experts will talk about making the most of it and the 100 other space vehicles expected over Asian skies in the next decade at a November 1–2 workshop in Jeju, Korea, part of Multi-GNSS Asia (MGA).
Out in Space
√ The National Research Council’s sobering August report reminds us that space debris threatens satellite navigation and more. But GNSS has thrown its share of orbiting detritus into the mix. Aerospace Corporation records show that GPS and GLONASS rocket parts have reentered the airspace over Argentina, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Uruguay, Thailand, and Kansas, to the occupants’ great surprise.
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