China is planning to expand its homegrown Beidou navigation system by 2020 and make it accurate to within centimeters. Up until now the Chinese system has 16 satellites and it is expected to grow to 30 by 2020.
Currently the system reaches an error margin as low as 5 meters. With the improvements China hopes to be able to compete with the US GPS. The system serves the Asia-Pacific region a year now and hopes to expand coverage to other Asian countries.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in cooperation with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, USA, is trying to upgrade GPS technologies to use them for early warning systems for hazards like earthquakes, tsunamis and extreme weather events.
Their success with local systems was presented by weather forecasters at NOAA National Weather Service Offices in San Diego. The presentation included tracking of real-time rain event and flash flood warnings.
The European satellite navigation mission Galileo marked a new success: On 25 April 2013, all four Galileo satellites started working as clocks accurate to a few billionths of a second, disseminating the exact time through their signals expressed as the UTC Universal Coordinated Time global standard.
The UK will set up a new fund to back mobile, text and other innovative technologies which can be used to help those hit by humanitarian crises - such as earthquakes, floods or drought.
The new initiative was announced on 21 February 2013 by International Development Secretary Justine Greening. It has been created with the US Government and will be used to scale up existing projects and processes that use technology or innovation to support humanitarian responses across the world.
Satellite navigation systems are based on the highly precise measurement of time. A receiver on the ground pinpoints their positions by calculating how long signals from satellites in orbit take to reach it.
Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) have developed a new system which improves the ability of a GPS to determine a vehicle's position as compared to that of conventional GPS devices by up to 90 percent, and which can be installed in any vehicle at a very low cost.
The prototype incorporates a conventional GPS signal with those of other sensors (accelerometers and gyroscopes) in order to reduce the margin of error in establishing a location.
The GPS industry is forming a new trade association called the GPS Innovation Alliance, as InsideGNSS reported. The Alliance will work to educate policy makers and the public about the GPS system and protect the interests of the hundreds of organizations and users that rely upon the constellation, according to sources familiar with the new group.
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has selected Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC (SST-US) to investigate cost reduction and augmentation of the current Global Positioning System (GPS) constellation through the application of the small satellite approach.