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GNSS Hotspots

GNSS data points and factoids to amuse and inform.

Huntsville, Alabama; Washington D.C.; Medellin, Colombia; Luxembourg; Rome; St. Petersburg, Russia

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1. FOLLOW THAT PIZZA!
Huntsville, Alabama
√ Eleven Papa John’s pizza stores in Huntsville, Alabama equip their delivery drivers with handheld PNDs and use a mapping engine developed by startup company TrackMyPizza to give customers 15 second online updates on their pizza pie. You don’t even need to leave your laptop to look out the window.

2. NDGPS SAVED
Washington, D.C.
√ The U.S. Department of Transportation has decided to continue full operation of all 86 Nationwide Differential Global Positioning System inland, coastal, and waterways stations, after a user assessment came back with mainly favorable comments. Only a handful of additional stations need to come on-line to complete full national coverage.

3. SEEKING COMMON GROUND
Medellin, Colombia
√ A regional workshop in Medellin, Columbia on June 23-27 addresses GNSS and precision farming, climate change tracking, infectious diseases early warning and cooperative uses of GNSS applications. Participants include the Columbian government, the U.S., the U.N., the International Committee on GNSS and SIRGAS, the Latin America geocentric reference frame project. www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/SAP/gnss/index.html

4. IT’S A GO!
Luxembourg
√ On April 7, the European Commission’s transport ministers gave the final ok to the long-awaited Galileo satellite navigation system. The Deal: more power the EU’s 27 member states and parliament, including administration of the €3.4-billion (US$5.35 billion) public budget, a guaranteed 2013 delivery date, plus an opportunity for more companies to bid on the lucrative contracts to come.

5. JULES VERNE’S VOYAGE EXTRAORDINAIRE
Rome, Italy
√ Europe’s Jules Verne ATV docked at the International Space Station on April 3. The 23 thousand pound cargo ship used a guidance, navigation, and control system developed by Thales Alenia Space Italia on its 25-day journey to the orbiting ISS 210 miles above the earth. The unmanned vehicle is the largest spacecraft ever built by ESA. (See related 360 Degrees article in this issue.)

6. ELEKTROPRIBOR
St. Petersburg
√ 15th International conference on integrated navigation systems takes place in St. Petersburg May 26-28. Hosted by the State Research Center of Russia – Elektropribor - it’s a forum for scientists and engineers involved in non-military navigation, motion control, and guidance. www.elektropribor.spb.ru/cnf/icins08/enfrset.html

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