China's GPS 'Beidou' to be Enhanced
The Third China Satellite Navigation Conference in progress in Guangzhou, South China’s Guangdong Province, with satellite experts, government officials and business executives from China, the US, Russia, Europe and Japan participating in the event.The Beidou system chief designer, Sun Jiadong, said China will expand the Beidou satellite navigation service across the entire country. Beidou is a satellite navigation system developed by China and has been providing services since the end of 2011. The conference is a key stage for China to exchange knowledge with the world about satellite navigation know-how and to enhance innovation of its own satellite techniques.
Galileo Must Proceed Financing Difficulties
The European Commission (EC) has stated that the Galileo satellite navigation system must go ahead on schedule despite financial contribution delays experienced by the European Space Agency (ESA). Galileo is being designed to compete with the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) in the satellite navigation market. Source: HK Law
European Global Navigation Satellite System
The UK Department for Transport summarized the Department’s work on the European Global Navigation Satellite System programs Galileo and EGNOS. Galileo is the European Union’s global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and will be fully interoperable with the US GPS system. The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) is the first pan-European satellite navigation system. It augments GPS, making it more suitable for safety-critical applications, such as navigating ships through narrow channels. (9/16/10). (Source: Bryant’s Maritime News)
European GPS Slated for 2014 Launch
Galileo, the EU satellite navigation program (the European GPS) and Copernicus, the EU Earth monitoring program, are in decisive phases this year. With the launch of six additional Galileo satellites, Europeans will soon be able to enjoy their own satellite navigation system. The first Copernicus satellite launch in March will also enable considerable progress in improving maritime security, climate change monitoring and providing support in emergency and crisis situations. The progress in both European space programs - Galileo and Copernicus - was announced by Vice President Antonio Tajani following a meeting with Jean Jacques Dordain…
EU O.K.s Sat Plan
The EU -- unhappy with its dependance on U.S. and Russian operated satellite navigation systems -- has taken a step further in launching its own. The European Union has freed up $82.5 million for final research into its "Galileo" project. The money will be used to set the technical parameters for the system, examine the availability of private sector finance and begin cooperation with the U.S. and Russia, whose own satellite systems will be rivaled by Galileo -- or the Global Navigation Satellite System.
EU Pulls Plug on Back-Up Nav System
A British-led initiative to create a back-up to satellite navigation systems for ships has been pulled after failing to garner interest from other European countries, despite its proponents pointing to the growing risk of disasters at sea. Vessels increasingly rely on devices that employ satellite signals to find a location or keep exact time, including the Global Positioning System (GPS). Paper charts are used less frequently due to a loss of traditional skills among seafarers. Experts say GPS is vulnerable to signal loss from solar weather effects or radio and satellite interference or deliberate jamming, which South Korea experienced from North Korea in recent years.
Magellan Corp. and Marine Electronics Leader Lowrance Electronics Inc. to Merge
Lowrance Electronics Inc. of Tulsa, Okla., will be merged into California-based Magellan Corp., a leading satellite access products company, as a result of a merger agreement among those companies and Magellan's parent company Orbital Sciences Corp. The transaction will create a nearly $150 million, satellite-based, consumer and recreational electronics business under the Magellan banner, according to David W. Thompson, Magellan chairman and Orbital president and CEO. "Lowrance is a leading-edge technology company whose technical know-how in GPS and sonar can be applied to emerging commercial and industrial applications and integrated with other Magellan technologies such as GPS satellite navigation and ORBCOMM satellite data communications," said John Huyett, Magellan president and CEO.
TeamSurv Ocean Survey Project Boosted
TeamSurv, the crowd sourcing project to create better nautical charts, has won support and endorsement from the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC). TeamSurv has won a call by ESA to enter their Business Incubation Centre (BIC) at Harwell, Oxford. This provides TeamSurv with finance, with business and technical support, and with office space for the next year to enable a plan for a sustainable future, and to grow with the number of vessels and the amount of data produced.
STN Introduces Debeg Satlog
A new integrated satellite navigation and speed log system with combined 24-channel GPS-Glonass positioning — Debeg Satlog 4124 — has been introduced by STN Atlas Marine Electronics. Providing a coinciding or separate position and speed calculations via GPS, Differential GPS and/or Glonass satellites, the system provides worldwide positional and speed accuracy of 15 m and 0.2 knots, respectively. Corresponding differential mode accuracies, derived from an integral multitrack differential beacon receiver, are 1 m and 0.1 knots. The system is designed for any type of marine navigation operation, as well as specialist applications, namely hydrographic surveying, buoy positioning and oceanographic research.
New Satellite System Could Find Sunken Ships
A new European Union-backed radio satellite system could help find sunken ships, EU officials said, promoting the potential benefits of the "Galileo" satellite navigation system. The EU hopes to have the system up and running by 2005 at a potential cost to taxpayers of around $2.9 billion, although the EU hopes private firms will contribute 50 percent. The EU this month secured the radio frequencies needed to launch the system at an international conference in Turkey. More detailed plans will be drawn up before the end of the year. Galileo, a European rival to military global positioning systems operated by the United States and Russia, will be able to locate objects or people to within 16.4 ft. (5 m).
NovAtel Awarded Galileo Contract
NovAtel has been granted a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) for definition work on Galileo, the proposed European satellite navigation system. The $126,700 contract calls for NovAtel to provide input to ESA on signal validation and receiver development requirements. The company will also review draft Galileo signal specifications and provide feedback on receiver performance, development requirements and cost implications. Working directly with ESA technical management, NovAtel expects that the study will be complete during the next six to eight months. Jointly initiated by the European Union and ESA, the Galileo project aims to launch a series of Medium Earth Orbit satellites in three orbital planes at 20…
Russia Offers India GLONASS Deal
The Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), which was officially launched in 1993, is a Russian counterpart to the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS). It fixes the location and speed of surface, sea and air objects to within an accuracy of one meter. Russia and India have been cooperating on use of GLONASS for more than four years, but Russia has not previously offered equal joint participation in upgrading the system. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who has special responsilibity for Russia's military-industrial complex, said: "We have offered our Indian counterparts not only use of the Glonass system but also participation in upgrading it. We practically see it as a joint effort.
China Begins Work on its SATNAV Test Network
China to build a test & certification network for its Beidou satellite navigation system over the next three years. An authoritative testing and certification system with uniform standards and legal support will secure the Beidou system's safe operation and accelerate its industrialization, said a statement from the government's Certification and Accreditation Administration. By 2015, a national testing center will be set up in Beijing, while another seven local sub-centers will be established across the nation, it said. The centers will test the safety and accuracy of products designed for use with the system and qualify them for civilian use. China began to construct the Beidou system in 2000 with a goal of breaking its dependence on GPS by 2020.
Russian GLONASS GPS Designer Fired
The chief designer or Russia’s Glonass satellite navigation system, Yury Urlichich, has been dismissed. The Glonass program has been in the works since the 1970s, but underwent a radical revamp in 2001. The 24 satellites comprising the system were put into orbit by 2010, The program cost 140 billion rubles (US$4.4 billion) to implement, and its budget for 2012-2020 stands at a further 326 billion rubles (US$10 billion). According to RiaNovosti the decision was made by the government’s military-industrial commission, which is headed by Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. Russia’s rival to GPS was rocked by fraud allegations earlier this month, with the Interior Ministry accusing unnamed Glonass officers of embezzling 6.5 billion rubles (US$200-million) of program’s funds.
Europe Grapples with Threat of Ships Sailing Blind
Europe has yet to fully wake up to the danger of maritime disasters caused by signal jamming and blackouts of satellite navigation devices, say the proponents of a back up system on trial in British and Dutch ports. Ships increasingly rely on systems that employ satellite signals to find a location or keep exact time including the Global Positioning System (GPS) and GLONASS. But experts say such systems are vulnerable to signal loss from solar weather effects or radio and satellite interference and can also be affected by intentional jamming by criminal gangs, nation states or potentially from militant groups. The General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland (GLA) is pioneering a radio-based back-up prototype called eLoran.
EU and China Set to Collaborate on GALILEO
An agreement has been reached between the European Union and China on its participation in the GALILEO program. This agreement was initialled in Beijing on September 18 by F. Lamoureux, Director-General of Energy and Transport at the European Commission, and M Shi Dinghuan, Secretary General of China's Ministry of Science and Technology. “China will help GALILEO to become the major world infrastructure for the growing market for location services,” said Loyola de Palacio, Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for the GALILEO programme. Her counterpart in the negotiations, China's Science and Technology Minister Xu Guanhua highlighted that “China supports GALILEO and plans to participate actively in its construction and application for mutual benefits”.
New Satellite Navigation Service from Fugro
Oslo based navigation specialist Fugro Seastar AS has announced the introduction of a new service: SeaSTAR G2. This new high performance navigation service combines the navigation satellites of both the American GPS constellation and the Russian GLONASS constellation, to produce a composite GPS/GLONASS position solution. The service utilizes Fugro’s own network of dual system reference stations to calculate ‘orbit and clock’ errors on a satellite by satellite basis for all 50…
GALILEO: 2008 or Bust
The European Union is on track to start its own satellite navigation and positioning system, Galileo, as it was earlier this year announced that the Council of Transport Ministers released the $44 million needed to develop Galileo, and at the same time adopted the regulation establishing the joint undertaking responsible for operating it. Galileo is being developed as a commercial alternative to the U.S. GPS system, and tentatively is scheduled to be up and running by 2008. While markets are varied, and much of the advantages are touted in terms of savings tot the airlines, the maritime sector, including offshore oil and gas exploration, has been targeted as a major market for the project.
GNSS Spoofing Test Bed to be Developed
Spirent Communications, has teamed up with Qascom to develop a test tool that reproduces spoofing attacks in a controlled laboratory environment. They say that their collaborative solution will be launched commercially later in 2013. The test bed will concurrently simulate legitimate GNSS constellations and spoofed or hoax signals. It will enable positioning systems manufacturers to improve their products’ resilience to hoax signals. As GNSS becomes increasingly embedded in modern infrastructure for application timing and device positioning, the impact of spoofing attacks becomes greater. From mobile telephony to internet banking, GNSS timing signals are used in many key systems…
Satellite Operator Orders Orbit’s Maritime Satcom Platform
Orbit Communications Systems Ltd., a provider of precision tracking-based communications solutions and airborne communications management systems, announced that a global NGSO (Non-Geostationary Satellite Orbit) satellite operator placed a repeat order worth $645,000 for its OceanTRx 7-500 Ka-band maritime satellite communications platform. Delivery of the system, which will provide continuous broadband connectivity via satellite aboard cruise ships, is expected in 2017. “We put a lot into our relationships and deals like this prove it,” commented Eitan Livneh, Orbit’s CEO. OceanTRx 7 is a maritime satcom platform supporting a variety of 2.2-meter stabilized antenna system configurations in C, Ku, X and Ka bands.
Ejde Loran Station Shut Down on Faroe Islands
The Ejde Loran station on the Faroe Islands will be shut down on December 31, 2015, after having been in operation since 1959. At the end of the year, the entire European Loran system will be discontinued. The Loran-C station on Ejde is a part of the Northwest European Loran system, consisting of four stations in Norway, two in France, one in England, one stationin Germany as well as the station on the Faroe Islands. Loran-C is a radio navigation system that can be used for navigation and the receipt of time information if you have a Loran-C receiver.
Russian Icebreaker to Norway for Upgrade
Head engineer in the Sevmorgeo company, Yuri Kuzmin, confirms that the conventionally powered “Dikson” will spend 15 days in Kirkenes for the upgrade. Another icebreaker, the “Kapitan Dranitsyn” will undergo a similar upgrade in a yard in Murmansk, reports the 'Barents Observer'. While the “Kapitan Dranitsyn” will engage in mapping of the seabed in order to collect data on the extension of the Russian Arctic shelf, it is expected that the “Dikson” will engage first of all in the collection of seismic data from the formerly disputed waters in the region. As previously reported, Russian authorities last year confirmed that Russian seismic studies would start in 2012 . Norway started the mapping of is part of the newly delimited waters in summer 2011.
Imtech Receives Order for Tech on Board FPSO
Imtech has received an order worth $25.6m for an important part of the technology on board a high-tech floating oil-production platform to be made operational in the North Sea. The North Sea contains many so-called 'marginal fields', which still contain a substantial amount of oil, but are too small for exploitation by means of large production platforms. The only way to extract this oil is by making use of Floating Production Storage Offloading vessels (FPSOs). These are floating oil-production systems that serve the same purpose as production platforms. They are far more efficient and flexible in use than the large platforms. After extraction…