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Columns and Editorials

New Chimera Signal Enhancement Could Spoof-Proof GPS Receivers

 

Improvements to GPS performance are often incremental, achieved by squeezing better performance out of existing systems with clever tweaks, smarter analysis and sharper receivers. Then again, every once in a while, there’s a huge leap in the capabilities of the system itself—an advance so big that it makes you appreciate all over again the elegant wizardry of satellite navigation.

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By Dee Ann Divis
April 25, 2019

Human Engineering: Miller’s Wild Ride

This present edition of our “Human Engineering” article features a man who is not actually an engineer, although we believe the exception, in this case, is worth making.

“I am a licensed commercial airplane pilot with two undergraduate science degrees and two master’s degrees,” said James Joseph “JJ” Miller. “At NASA, I am a technologist manager overseeing the work of a team of engineers at several NASA field centers across the USA.”

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By Peter Gutierrez

What are the challenges to localization in autonomous cars in the Arctic?

 

There are a number of challenges to localization of autonomous vehicles (AVs) and autonomous driving (AD) applications in northern latitudes. The primary challenge is the harsh winter weather, which limits the utility of imaging sensors — snow, fog, mist, and darkness adversely affect such sensors and extreme low temperature can affect sensor performance. Ice and snow on the roads magnifies slippage of wheels, reducing the accuracy of wheel-mounted sensors. 

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By Mark Petovello
April 19, 2019

Working Papers: Electric Propulsion Technology Overview

Efforts in the realm of electric propulsion have been both steady and cutting-edge. Past, present, and future projects are discussed along with both realized and potential mission benefits arising from this recent technology.

Electric Propulsion (EP) is a class of space propulsion, which makes use of electrical power to accelerate a propellant by different possible electrical and/or magnetic means. The use of electrical power enhances the propulsive performances of the EP thrusters compared with conventional chemical thrusters. Unlike chemical systems, electric propulsion requires very little mass to accelerate a spacecraft.

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By Günter W. Hein
March 21, 2019

Budget Brawl Could Impact GPS

The GPS community made real progress during 2018. The first GPS III satellite was launched, the contractor for the GPS IIIF satellites was chosen and work on the new ground system appeared to be on a good track. In addition, after years of waiting, two of three requested Galileo signals were approved for official use in the United States and Congress ordered the building of a backup system for GPS timing.

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By Dee Ann Divis
March 14, 2019

European Space Sector Gets Defensive

Officials representing the European Union are now publicly advancing the use of EU space assets, including the Galileo satellite-based navigation system, for military purposes. Galileo has traditionally been touted as a purely civil, purely nonmilitary system, but times and circumstances are changing.

The theme of the EU Space Week session Security and Defense was established by the introductory text that appeared in the event’s program: “The development of the European space sector has, from the outset, been linked to security, either that of the Member States or the EU itself.”

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By Peter Gutierrez
March 6, 2019

Galileo in 2019 … and Yet it Moves

Thinking Allowed

In the GNSS race launches are often quoted as the main event for the coming year — there won’t be another launch for Galileo until 2020. Despite this, in 2019 new capabilities are going to be introduced that will allow users to profit even more of the unique features offered by the Galileo system. As Galileo Galilei used to say “e pur si muove” (and yet it moves).

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By Inside GNSS
February 15, 2019

Zheng Yao: Currents, Influence and Due Diligence

Zheng Yao was born in Beijing and grew up in a house full of books. His parents provided the foundation but didn’t push him in a particular direction. When he was a teenager, a video game changed his course forever. Zheng found his own way in life, ultimately distinguishing himself as an academician, a top-flight GNSS engineer, and as a son, husband and father.

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By Peter Gutierrez

Impact of Geospatial Data Act of 2018 in U.S. – Time Will Tell

On October 3, 2018, the Geospatial Data Act of 2018 (GDA) was passed by Congress as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018. Two days later it was signed into law by the President. The GDA has been well received by the U.S. geospatial community. However, it will be several years before one can determine the impact that it will have on geospatial information management in the U.S.

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By Ingo Baumann
February 13, 2019

Working Papers: Speed Verification in the Smart Tachograph

The Smart Tachograph (ST), the new revision of the Digital Tachograph (DT), aims to improve safety in the transportation sector by monitoring the behavior of commercial drivers. For this purpose, data from several sensors, including a GNSS receiver, are recorded, processed and cross-validated. In this article, the motion conflict procedure adopted by the ST is reviewed and experimentally evaluated using data collected in light urban and highway environments.

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By Günter W. Hein

International Committee on GNSS-13 Focuses on PNT in High Earth Orbit and Beyond

Since last reported in the November/December 2016 issue of Inside GNSS, significant progress has been made to extend the use of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) for Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) in High Earth Orbit (HEO). This update describes the results of international efforts that are enabling mission planners to confidently employ GNSS signals in HEO and how researchers are extending the use of GNSS out to lunar distances.

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By Inside GNSS