Putin wants to put GLONASS receivers in all Russian cars

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin - who single handedly put out two forests fires recently - wants all cars in Russia to be equipped with GLONASS receiver by 2012. Russian reporters said he wanted this to improve road security which really does not mean much.

GLONASS faces competition from Europe’s Galileo and US’ GPS; so Russia is launching six new GLONASS satellites this year to provide global GPS navigation coverage…

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US and Russia join forces for satellite navigation

Trimble of U.S. and Russian Space Systems are joining forces to create Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) which will utilize and commercialize GLONASS - which is the Russian version of U.S.’ GPS.

The new venture will be called Rusnavgeoset and both side will have 50% stake. It will be responsible for selling commercial geodetic network infrastructure systems localized for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Rusnavgeoset - which was announced on June 1st - will be based in Moscow and start operating soon after.

GPS enabled phones up 92%

According to an analysis firm in Sweden the number of GPS enabled handsets shipped worldwide increased 92% in 2009 to 150 million. If it continues with its 39% compound annual growth rate this number will be up to 770 million in 2014.

The articles acknowledges that almost all smartphones have GPS feature standard and the same is about to happen to even low-cost smartphones.

It also says that feature devices will be able to analyze signals from GPS, Glonass, and Galileo at the same time but this still won’t be able to provide a reliable location info when indoors. To circumvent the problem measurements from cellular networks, and WiFi signals will have to be used together.

“Chipset developers and handset vendors are already working on next-generation location technologies that will address the limitations of GPS when using handsets in urban canyons and indoors,” said Andre Malm, a senior analyst with Berg Insight, in a statement. “Multi-mode receivers that also support the Russian Glonass satellite system will appear in handsets in 2011. By combining the two systems, more visible satellites will increase the chance to receive sufficiently strong signals to get a fix in more locations.”

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Russia launching GLONASS correction relay satellites

Russians will be launching two multipurpose relay satellites in the next couple of years that will be carrying payloads for correcting GLONASS data.

N. Testoyedov, director general of Reshetnev Informational Satellite System company recently said:

“They will provide the opportunity to receive high-precision GLONASS signals in all territory of Russia”.

The two will be called Loutch-5A and 5B and will be in orbit in December 2010 and December 2011 respectively.

Previously Loutch geostationary satellites were used for relaying communications between the International Space Station (ISS) and other space vehicles and the ground. Kind of similar to U.S. Tracking and Data Relay Satellites.

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AgGPS FmX: high tech agriculture GPS nav system

If you think you’re the only one taking advantage high tech GPS devices you’re so wrong. Farmers are actually way ahead of you. Trimble is in the agriculture market providing farmers with tools to help them better control their equipment. Check out this AgGPS Fmx display with dual GPS receviers (GPS+GLONASS) which can provide up to 1 inch of accuracy, integrated radio for wireless video input and a huge 12.1″ screen.

It even has a light bar to give you a quick feedback on your route.

Vladimir Putin’s Dog now GPS enabled

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has lost his black lab Connie for the last time. Connie was recently fitted with a collar that is hooked into Glonass (global navigation satellite system) which is the Russian equivalent of our GPS system. Deputy First Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov was in charge of the project and he informed Prime Minister Putin that the collar is fully operational and ready to be fitted for Connie immediately. The collar weighs in at 170 grams and plans to outfit Russia’s search and rescue dogs with the device in the upcoming months. No word on when the collar will be available for the masses and as of right now the only functional model is the one outfitted for Connie. We guess being the Prime Minister of Russia does have its perks.

glonass receivers

Glonass satellite navigation system of Russia is not yet complete nor offers full coverage like U.S.’ GPS but that will soon change in the next couple of years since Russia has committed to complete the project (like other nations).

Once that is done that can only mean one thing for you: Better and faster position fix! Of course you’ll need a device that can receive and understand these signals - which won’t be the same signal as those coming from GPS satellites. That’s why we already have a market for dual receivers. GlonassCentral already has 3 antennas and 3 boards that has the hardware to receive signals from both Glonass and GPS satellites with prices ranging from $21 to $4200.

These dual receiver are not yet for retail yet but we look forward to days when sat nav system manufacturers will use lines like: “now works with Glonass!”, “dual receivers for better reception” to sell their devices.

Leica GMX902 GG dual-frequency GPS + GLONASS receiver

Leica Geosystems just introduced Leica GMX902 GG, a dedicated, dual-frequency GPS + GLONASS Receiver for monitoring applications, mostly for sensitive structures such as bridges, mines or high rise buildings and crucial topographies such as land slides or volcanoes.

As you know GLONASS is Russian’s equivalent of GPS which currently has 16+ satellites in orbit. The dual frequency code of Leica GMX902 enables it provide precise data capture which is required for highly accurate position calculation and motion analysis.

As with the other receivers in the GMX900 family, the GMX902 GG has been designed and built purely for monitoring applications. The key characteristics of the GMX900 family are low power consumption, high quality measurement, simplicity, and durability. The Leica GMX902 GG is an ideal receiver for deformation monitoring with superior tracking of satellites from the both GPS and GLONASS constellations. The GMX902 GG is also a perfect receiver for atmospheric studies and ionospheric scintillation research with 20Hz measurement of high precision dual-frequency code, phase and signal-to-noise ratio.

navigation satellite wars

GPS is not the only global navigation satellite system out there, at least not for long. There are other nations trying to break their dependence from USA’s globally available free service - which can be shut down at will of U.S. military. Not to mention GPS (Navstar) is aging (even older than 1st generation iPods!!!) fast and it needs some serious upgrading.

European Union - Galileo

Initiated in 1999, Galileo is a joint effort of European countries. When first started, the U.S. opposed the plans stating that it would end their ability to control positioning satellites in military conflict scenarios. The pressure from the U.S. backfired and as a result the Galileo project was over-funded by European nations who decided it was crucial to be independent of U.S. controlled GPS.

The total cost of the system is expected to be around €3 billions. Galileo is funded by EU nations and China.

Primarily intended for civilians, Galileo will support different kinds of services: OS (open service) will broadcast in two bands (1164–1214 MHz and at 1563–1591 MHz) and when both are used you’ll be able to get <4 meter accuracy. CS (commercial service) will require a fee but if used with ground stations it will be able provide accuracy of less than 10 cm’s. It will use an extra band at 1260–1300 MHz in addition to the OS frequencies.

  • Number of satellites: 30
  • Completion Date: 2011
  • Current Status: First satellite launched in December 2005 and first ‘Galileo’ signal received in January 2006.

China - Beidou

China’s Beidou was first planned to be used for military purposes but Chinese government has already announced it will be free for civilians as well. This would conflict with EU’s Galileo which plans to profit from selling of receivers and subscriptions to benefit from high accuracy signals.

  • Completion Date: Coverage of China and neighbors by 2008 - global coverage in later years
  • Number of satellites: 35
  • Current Status: 4 satellites in orbit

russia-flag-001.gifRussia - Glonass

Russia’s Glonass has a long history which goes as far back as the peak of Cold War. The Glonass system has never been globally available since then, mostly due to instability in Soviet Union and current Russia. India, and possibly China, collaborate with Russia on Glonass. Since 1992 Russia has launched 44 satellites, some of which are no longer in service. Glonass’ civilian signal - which is only available half the time in Russia, and less globally - can provide <100 meters of accuracy. Military signals are better, providing accuracy of <15 meters. Russia has announced that it would make military grade signals available this year.

  • Completion Date: 2011
  • Number of satellites: 24
  • Current Status: 16 in orbit, 5 of which is switched off. 12 more scheduled to be in orbit in the next two years

India - IRNSS

Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System, IRNSS, was recently approved with a budget just over $300 million. IRNSS is planned to provide only regional coverage provided by 7 satellites.

  • Number of satellites: 7
  • Completion Date: 2011
  • Current Status: First satellite to be launched in 2008

USA - Navstar (GPS)

It is the only fully functional, globally available navigation satellite system so far. It is free for everybody on this planet. The first one of the satellites was launched in 1978 and the system has been fully operational since 1995. However the satellites get old and need to be replaced and technological advancements require GPS to be upgraded.

The modernization has been approved since 2000 and is called GPS III. The new system will provide capabilities such as to shut off GPS service to a limited geographical location while providing GPS to US forces. The new GPS III satellites will still provide legacy capabilities while adding high-powered, anti-jam military-code signals.

These satellites will have about 500 times the transmitter power of the current system, multiplying its resistance to jamming. With a constellation of 30-32 satellites, GPS III will have second and third frequencies to contain civilian signal, L2 & L5, more robust signal transmissions, and provide real-time unaugmented 1 meter accuracy.

Completion Date: 2011
Number of satellites: 24+
Current Status: Fully functional, upgrade in process

homemade GPS jammer

Today we are featuring an article from Phrack - an online hacker magazine. What we have is a do-it-yourself GPS jammer that can have a range of upto several hundred feet. Keep in mind this is not an easy hack - a bachelors in electrical engineering seems like a prerequisite.

The GPS band pass filter is a 2-pole Toko 4DFA-1575B-12 ceramic dielectric filter from Digi-Key[4], part number TKS2609CT-ND. This part is optional, but helps clean up the RF spectrum before further amplification. The filter’s insertion loss is around 2 dB.

The final RF amplifier is a WJ Communications AH102. It provides another 13 dB of gain, with a higher P1dB compression point of around +27 dBm (500 mW). The AH102 draws the most current of any part, and is not really necessary if you’re aiming for a low range, low current, battery operated device.

This hack is designed to be a low cost one, only using components you can easily find at a trip to Radio Shack. It targets the Global Positioning System (GPS/NAVSTAR) L1 frequency of 1575.42 MHz. Also keep in mind this device will not work against the Russian GLONASS or European Galileo systems.