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GNSS Hotspots

GNSS data points and factoids to amuse and inform

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Ithaca, New York; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; Moscow; Pasadena, California; St. Petersburg, Russia

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1. SUITCASE SPOOFER
Ithaca, New York USA
√ Cornell and Virginia Tech researchers spent a year devising hardware and software for a real-time GPS signal spoofer — and succeeded. A suitcase-sized receiver used in ionosphere research was reprogrammed to send out fake satellite signals. It easily fooled the PND connected to it by cable. The researchers reported their feat at ION GNSS 2008 (and filed for a patent.)

2. FIVE BILLION $$$!
Washington, D.C.
U.S. airlines could have saved $5 billion in fuel costs this year if NextGen, the Federal Aviation Administration’s planned GPS-based air-traffic control system, hadn’t languished in political and funding limbo for years, said the Associated Press in October. Modernization could save $10 billion in annual fuel costs and put more planes in the air more safely — even Mongolia is moving towards GPS, AP said.

3. ON HOLD
Los Angeles, California USA
After several postponements, launches of the final two GPS Block IIR-M satellites are on “indefinite” status, said the USAF GPS Wing last month. It’s those darned technical problems again. A spokesman said “based on the parts production and qualification schedule, we project the . . . launches will occur in spring and summer 2009.” (See news story)

4. A DOG’S LIFE
Moscow, Russia
√ Koni, a black Labrador belonging to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, is testing the GLONASS system. He donned his own brand new SatNav collar in October at his master’s home outside of Moscow. Sixty-seven billion rubles were added to the GLONASS budget and three new satellites joined the constellation in September, but technical problems persist.

5. 15 MINUTES OF FAME?
Los Angeles, California USA
Is the personal navigation device obsolete already? Investor’s Business Daily said so on October 20. The U.S. growth rate for PNDs was cut by 40% when Apple’s iPhone came out last year. Market research firm iSuppli predicts a 78% up tick in global shipments of GPS-enabled mobile phones this year. Los Angeles

6. WORLD’S GNSS OPERATORS MEET
Pasadena, California USA and St. Petersburg, Russia
The International Committee on GNSS will meet in Pasadena, California December 8-12. The Jet Propulsion Lab, Caltech, and the IGS host this one. The fourth meeting is scheduled for September 14-18, 2009 in St. Petersburg, Russia. (See calendar listing)

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