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GPS

January 5, 2020

Low-cost GNSS/INS Integration Conquers Harsh Environments

A software-driven navigation engine makes consistent, reliable navigation possible in tunnels, garages and urban canyons.

In difficult GNSS signal environments for driving—and here urban canyons, tunnels and parking structures are the standouts—GNSS performance may be severely degraded or completely denied. Inertial aiding has become the standard for ground vehicle navigation. Requirements for autonomous navigation in these circumstances will be rigorous, but those for map-matching, telematics and fleet vehicle tracking are much less so.

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By Inside GNSS
January 2, 2020

Bootstrapping Location for Army Patrols

Forward-deployed U.S. military personnel will soon benefit from warfighter localization sensor units that provide tracking information in GPS-denied environments in a bootstrap mode. The Army Product Manager Sets, Kits Outfits and Tools awarded a $16.5 million contract to Robotic Research of Clarksburg, Maryland for WarLoc units to equip four deployed U.S. Army Brigade Combat Teams in various locations. The first batch of systems has already been shipped, and should enable soldiers on foot to keep track of each other in terrain where GPS systems are less effective.

WarLoc provides localization and positioning data for teams of warfighters or first responders in signal-denied environments such as underground facilities and inside buildings and mega-cities, according to the company. The small sensor mounts on footwear. Multiple systems work together to further enhance accuracy and maintain the localization of teams.

[Heel-mounted warfighter localization sensor units, also known as WarLoc. Photo: Robotic Research.]

The tracking system augments its GPS receiver with an inertial measurement unit. The device connects with a smartphone through Bluetooth. Robotic Research fields two form factors of the WaLoc, one mounted over the top of the boot and another that wraps around the heel. Users view data readouts through an Android-based Tactical Assault Kit. The algorithms are reportedly robust to communications failures and dropouts, and the distributed nature works well in challenging communication environments.

 

 

By Inside GNSS
December 30, 2019

Qualcomm’s New Chip: More Power, More Features, Same Ol’ GNSS

In early December, Qualcomm made its annual announcement of a new chip for phones and wearables in the coming year. Qualcomm’s flagship system-on-chip will power a range of devices launching in 2020, with lots of new and exciting (to smartphone addicts) capabilities; just not much — make that nothing — new in satellite-based navigation derivatives.

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By Inside GNSS
December 27, 2019

Lawmakers Approve Nearly Full GPS Budget

Hours before an impending government shutdown, the President signed both the defense appropriations and authorization bills on Friday, December 20. The bills funded nearly all of the Air Force’s GPS program but made substantial cuts in Army GPS receiver development.

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By Dee Ann Divis
December 24, 2019

Satellite Visibility to Aid Claus Mission

In lead position on a sleigh rising from the North Pole to a height of 200 meters — standard cruising altitude for global package delivery — at 2100 hours UTC on December 24 — the youngest will hopefully be asleep by then and there’s plenty of territory to cover before dawn breaks, time’s a-wasting — navigator Rudolph will see between 40 and 45 GNSS satellites glistening in the night sky.

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By Inside GNSS
December 20, 2019

DoD on Innovation Fast Track: Views Of Top Pentagon PNT Managers

Reducing the number of GPS receivers installed or carried while tapping multiple PNT sources.

Prototyping and beta testing are techniques closely associated with Silicon Valley, the innovation engine admired around the world and, in particular, inside the Pentagon. Simply introducing a new idea has been known to take years in these halls; witness the long introductory saga of GPS itself in the 1970s.

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By Dee Ann Divis
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