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Inside GNSS • Fall 2007

GPS/GPRS on the Road

GPS was introduced to much of the consumer market during the 1990s in the form of car navigation systems. This was the era of standalone navigation solutions.

Today, network-based navigation systems are common and, in the context of commercial vehicle tracking, usually required. One application in this field is fleet management for taxi companies. A human operator at the service center coordinates the pickup of the next customer by the closest vehicle.

Inside GNSS • Fall 2007

Reign of Point Clouds

Commercially available airborne LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) systems have been deployed for more than a decade, and the technology has been widely accepted as a fast and efficient means of capturing topographic information.

The accuracy of a final 3D LIDAR “point cloud” is directly affected by the accuracy of the underlying positioning technology — typically a GPS/inertial navigation system — used to georeference the LIDAR measurements.

October 26, 2007

U.S. Department of Commerce Proposes Update to Office Overseeing GPS and Related PNT Activities

The Department of Commerce has proposed legislation to boost the U.S. government’s space commerce activities. Specifically, the bill would reauthorize the Office of Space Commercialization (OSC), restore the office's original name — Office of Space Commerce — and focus the office’s responsibilities to enable a robust and responsive U.S. commercial space industry.

Human Engineering • March 2006

Michael Braasch: Dr. Braasch’s Opus

Much like the lead character in “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” a 1995 movie about another talented teacher, Mike Braasch found out that life happens while you’re busy making other plans. Braasch, now the Thomas Professor of Electrical Engineering at Ohio University’s Russ College of Engineering and technology, was unaware of how fast and hard he would fall for the three compass points of his subsequent life: Soo, the electrical engineering classmate who married him; the global navigation satellite system community; and his students.

Thinking Aloud • Spring 2007

GNSS for the Masses

Oh, yes, to be sure — they are really impressive numbers: the steep upward curve of unit and dollar (or euro or ruble or renminbi) sales volumes now that GNSS has hit the big time.

Whether it’s $25 billion today or $68 billion in 2010, the worldwide market has really taken off since consumers have discovered — almost by accident, in many cases — the amazing power of GNSS-driven products and services.

Ah, consumers. The mass market.

Rich! We’ll all be rich beyond our wildest imaginings!

October 19, 2007

SiRF Goes "Green" with Location Ecosystem and "Killer Enabler"

At the premiere Location 2.0 Summit on October 23, SiRF Technology will roll out its “ecosystem” strategy for the location-based services (LBS) community, enabled by a set of SiRF-designed development tools, a test environment, and marketing support from the GNSS chip and software manufacturer.

Ventures • October 19, 2007

Hexagon Launches Acquisition of NovAtel Shares

Hexagon AB has launched a tender offer to acquire all the issued and outstanding common shares of NovAtel Inc., a Calgary, Alberta, Canada–based developer and manufacturer of OEM GNSS and related products, at a price per share of US$50 cash. Acting through its wholly owned subsidiary, Hexagon Canada Acquisition Inc., the Swedish technology company will keep its offer, which began October 19, open through November 27.

New Builds • October 18, 2007

STM Launches 32-Channel GPS Processor

STMicroelectronics has introduced Cartesio, its new automotive-grade application processor with embedded GPS for navigation and telematics. The processor couples with ST's GPS RF chip (STA5620) to provide a core receiver unit.

Cartesio (STA2062) integrates a 32-bit ARM CPU core with a high-sensitivity 32-channel GPS subsystem and a large set of connectivity peripherals, including CAN, USB, UARTs, and SPI. It also provides on-chip high-speed RAM and real-time clock functionality, according to the company.

Ventures • October 18, 2007

Get ready for the 2008 Toulouse Space Show! ENC-GNSS, EFTF 08, and more . . .

Next April’s Toulouse Space Show will provide a good deal of company for the European Navigation Conference (ENC-GNSS 2008).

In addition to the annual European Frequency and Time Forum (EFTF 08), which joined ENC-GNSS 2007 this year at TimeNav '07 in Geneva, Switzerland, events include a Space Applications symposium sponsored by the French space agency CNES, a commercial exhibition, and associated events for the general public, students, and young people, to promote the value of space applications in daily life.

New Builds • October 17, 2007

Swiss GNSS Manufacturer u-blox Is Going Public

Ten-year-old u-blox AG has launched its initial public offering (IPO) of stock, which will begin trading October 26 on the Swiss Exchange. Price range for the offered shares is between 42 and 54 Swiss francs (CHF: US$35.53 and $45.68).

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