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Polaris joins Mark43 on location-enabled dispatch for emergency departments

Polaris Wireless is partnering with Mark43 to integrate 3D location technology into computer-aided dispatch systems for public safety organizations. Polaris Wireless is a provider of software-based wireless location solution.

The joint solution will enable police and fire departments to track personnel and assets with pinpoint location, including indoors and in high-rise buildings, with floor-level accuracy. It delivers enhanced situational awareness and improved operational efficiency, which helps save lives and additional costs.

Screenshot: Mark43

Screenshot: Mark43

Mark43 is a cloud-based public safety software provider. Its Mark43 CAD software provides mobile field units with precise information on laptops or tablets inside a vehicle. Built on AWS GovCloud, Mark43 works with police and fire departments to make sure web-connected units stay mobile in the cloud.

With the addition of 3D location, command and control centers can direct firefighters to the correct floor in a structural fire or ensure SWAT teams enter at the correct floor of a high-rise building. In more routine situations, such as tracking officers or equipment in a large municipal headquarters, 3D location helps increase efficiency and allocate resources more wisely.

Mark43 is purpose-built in the cloud to support interoperability with third-party systems and devices. This enables the Mark43 CAD to seamlessly integrate with the Polaris Wireless 3D Location Platform, which is cloud-based and available to application developers via a standard Android and iOS Software Development Kit (SDK).

The platform relies on Polaris Wireless’ 3D location technology, which is able to locate devices on the vertical axis within 3 meters, floor level, utilizing all available signals and sensor measurements combined with the company’s patented algorithms.

Screenshot: Mark43

Screenshot: Mark43

By operating independently, or “over the top,” of wireless carrier networks, the platform is universal, enabling applications to locate any device on any network — an important consideration when police and fire departments operate devices across several networks.

“Giving command and control centers full visibility into first responders’ locations is crucial when it comes to emergency dispatch, where every second counts,” said Scott Crouch, Mark43 co-founder and CEO. “We are always aiming to integrate the best possible capabilities into our suite of offerings, and we look forward to working with Polaris Wireless to increase safety and efficiency for our first responders.”

“Our 3D location is enabling new use cases in public safety applications with our partnership and integration into Mark43 CAD systems,” said Amir Sattar, senior vice president of operations for Polaris Wireless. “Dispatching police and firefighters to the precise location, including the correct floor number, represents a major advancement for public safety and a significant benefit for the communities they serve.”

Polaris Wireless and Mark43 are exploring opportunities to trial the application with public safety organizations.

Attendees at the NENA 2019 Event (June 14-19) in Orlando, Florida, can visit Mark43’s booth #321 to learn more.

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Hexagon’s M.App Enterprise 2019 features 3D, machine learning

LogoHexagon’s Geospatial Division launched M.App Enterprise 2019 this week at its user conference HxGN LIVE 2019. The latest version of M.App Enterprise integrates capabilities from Hexagon’s Luciad Portfolio to enhance data visualizations, analytics and management.

Designed to monitor assets, evaluate changes, and take action, M.App Enterprise is a privately-hosted platform that allows organizations to deploy Hexagon Smart M.Apps that dynamically address their location-based business problems.

The new features in M.App Enterprise 2019 lay the foundation for users to experience a 5D smart digital reality, where data is connected seamlessly through the convergence of the physical world with the digital and intelligence is built into all processes.

Screenshot: Hexagon Geospatial

Screenshot: Hexagon Geospatial

“The enhanced M.App Enterprise is now powered by our Luciad technology, which allows users to have the best of both worlds when it comes to data visualization and advanced analytics to communicate information effortlessly, and in real-time,” said Georg Hammerer, chief technology officer – applications for Hexagon’s Geospatial Division. “This unified geospatial enterprise platform can now further enable users and partners to create vertical solutions for their markets and industry segments.”

The Luciad Portfolio integration will allow users to connect to, visualize and examine file-based vector and raster data from their Smart M.Apps in 3D. It also now renders terrain features realistically based on elevation data of the area.

For covering large geographical areas with a higher resolution, M.App Enterprise 2019 allows users to connect to tiled elevation coverages offered by LuciadFusion.

Furthermore, the addition of classification algorithms to the Spatial Workshop user interface enables M.App Enterprise to perform advanced remote sensing with machine learning.

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Intergeo 2019 to highlight geodata

Logo: Intergeo 2019

Intergeo 2019, which is set to take place Sept. 17-19 in Stuttgart, Germany, will cover a number of key geodata topics. The main topics highlighted during the conference will include smart cities, campus geoinnovation, digitalization, building information modeling, emphasis on local authorities and UAVs.

More than 680 exhibitors will be providing insights into the highly dynamic geospatial sector, event organizers added.

“Geodata forms the foundation for our digital society and is thus becoming the currency of the future,” said Hansjörg Kutterer, president of the German Society for Geodesy, Geoinformation and Land Management. “These developments are exciting and our industry is not just affected by them — it is actively shaping them.”

According to event organizers, the show will show what digital change in the field of geoinformation means. Keynote speakers for Intergeo 2019 include Dr. Markus Kerber, state secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community; Dr. Juergen Dold, president, of Hexagon’s Geosystems Division; and Hashem Al-Ghaili, director of content at Futurism.

Kerber will cover smart homeland and how digitalization can help achieve equal standards of living. Dold will discuss opportunities through digital business models. Finally, Al-Ghaili will present new ways of communicating science.

Click here for a free three-day ticket to Intergeo 2019.

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NovAtel defense manager joins anti-jam webinar panel

Headshot: Dean Kemp

Dean Kemp

Dean Kemp, defense segment manager for NovAtel, has joined the speakers’ panel for the June 27 complimentary webinar, Advanced Simulation Test Systems for Controlled Reception Pattern Antennas. He will present unique content alongside Lisa Perdue, simulation product manager for Orolia, and Stéphane Hamel, director of testing at Orolia.

Kemp has over 20 years of academic, industrial and business experience in engineering products and services. He spent a significant part of his career involved in antenna design and development, including controlled reception pattern antennas (CRPAs) for GPS anti-jam systems. As Defense Segment Manager, he is committed to precise, assured positioning and timing to address the needs of Navigation Warfare (NAVWAR) professionals and is dedicated to delivering high-quality products into the defense markets.

He holds a Ph.D. in antennas, radiowave propagation and computational electromagnetics from the University of Liverpool and an MBA from the University of Warwick. Prior to joining NovAtel, he worked at API Technologies, Cobham and Cobham Technical Services. His key technical skills include antenna/RF/microwave engineering, software development (Matlab, Fortran, VBA, Python), data analysis and processing, and test and measurement.

CRPAs are advanced, multi-element antenna solutions designed to protect a GNSS/GPS receiver from jamming sources. When combined with antenna electronics, they form an anti-jam antenna system (AJAS). These systems utilize several available technologies and vary in the number of elements.

This webinar will cover the basics of AJAS and CRPA, and the methods used to test them. Details on simulation system configurations, calibration techniques, and use case examples will also be presented. The webinar is sponsored by Orolia, a global provider of GPS/GNSS and resilient PNT solutions to support military and commercial applications.

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Orolia’s new aircraft emergency beacon uses Galileo service

Orolia’s Kannad Ultima-S emergency locator uses the Galileo Return Link Service. (Photo: Orolia)

Orolia’s Kannad Ultima-S emergency locator uses the Galileo Return Link Service. (Photo: Orolia)

Orolia is introducing a new product for commercial aircraft safety, the Kannad Ultima-S emergency locator transmitter (ELT).

The Kannad Ultima-S is designed to be installed in the cabin of commercial aircraft or in its life raft. It is capable of notifying the crew about the launch of a search-and-rescue operation via Galileo Return Link Service (RLS).

For passengers, installation of the Kannad Ultima-S means their flight can located accurately, with rescue following if an aircraft evacuation is needed.

Orolia’s Kannad Ultima-S ELT was developed under a two-year contract through the European GNSS Agency’s Tauceti Project. Orolia says this is the first beacon to use the Galileo RLS.

Other key features include:

  • Certified to the new lithium battery regulations to avoid the risk of battery fires.
  • A multi-GNSS receiver to accept multiple signals such as GPS and Galileo to detect the aircraft’s
    location faster and deploy rescue teams sooner than before.
  • Dual activation modes: manually or automatically upon contact with water.
  • An RLS option to notify the crew that the distress signal has been received and help is on the way (available on Galileo).
  • Multiple configurations available to install in aircraft cabins and life rafts. With a rugged, compact, and easy-to-install form factor, both versions can be installed through a carry-off bag or a mounting bracket and require little storage room.

Orolia’s Kannad Ultima-S meets new and evolving EASA/FAA requirements related to ELTs and non-rechargeable lithium batteries documented under the RTCA DO-227A standard.

“Orolia is dedicated to making air travel even safer than it is today with resilient positioning and aircraft location technology, featuring automatic, manual and remote activation modes to provide a complete ELT portfolio,” said Christian Belleux, Aviation Product Line director at Orolia. “We are excited to present aircraft operators with an affordable, reliable and state-of-the-art ELT solution for cabin modifications or linefit installations.”

The new ELT benefits from the proven Cospas Sarsat infrastructure, which is being upgraded to provide highly accurate location data and nearly real-time reporting to search-and-rescue operators through global coverage.

Kannad Ultima-S survival distress beacons complement Orolia’s Ultima family of next-generation ELTs, following the company announcement of the Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS)-compliant fixed Ultima-DT. Orolia provides aircraft manufacturers and operators with a complete solution for every ELT application.

Orolia will exhibit at the Paris Air Show June 17-20, Hall 2B booth E32, where both new ELTs will be displayed for the first time.

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uAvionix introduces truFYX GPS, transponder at Xponential 2019

About the Author:

Allison Barwacz is the digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM’s Pit & Quarry magazine, Portable Plants magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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Lockheed delivers GPS III ground system upgrade, SV03 ready for launch

Technicians successfully integrated the U.S. Air Force’s third GPS III space vehicle (GPS III SV03) on August 14, 2017. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

Technicians successfully integrated the U.S. Air Force’s third GPS III space vehicle (GPS III SV03) on August 14, 2017. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

On May 22, Lockheed Martin delivered the GPS III Contingency Operations (COps) software upgrade to the U.S. Air Force’s current GPS ground control system.

The upgrade will enable the Air Force to start commanding the new, next-generation GPS III satellites now coming off the production line and beginning to launch.

And the new GPS III satellites are coming. The first GPS III satellite launched in December 2018; the second GPS III shipped to Cape Canaveral in March for a July launch; and on May 17, the Air Force declared the third new GPS III “Available for Launch” next.

Ground System. The challenge was modernizing the current ground system — formally known as the GPS Architecture Evolution Plan Operational Control System (AEP OCS) — to fly the legacy constellation, as well as the new, modern GPS III satellites, until the next generation Operational Control System (OCX) Block 1, still in development, is delivered.

To address this, in 2016, the Air Force contracted Lockheed Martin to develop the GPS III COps program. Currently, the AEP OCS controls 31 GPS IIA, IIR, IIR-M and IIF satellites launched between 1993-2016. With the AEP OCS’ new GPS III COps upgrade, the Air Force will be able to command and control both the legacy satellites, as well the more powerful GPS III satellites.

Lockheed Martin shipped the U.S. Air Force’s first GPS III to Cape Canaveral, Florida ahead of its expected July launch. (Photo: Lockheed Martin}

Lockheed Martin shipped the U.S. Air Force’s first GPS III to Cape Canaveral, Florida ahead of its expected July launch. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

“Positioning, Navigation and Timing is a critical mission for our nation and COps will allow the Air Force to gain early access to its new GPS III satellites,” said Johnathon Caldwell, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for Navigation Systems. “We just finished Final Qualification Testing and delivery on COps, and it will be integrated and installed on the AEP OCS over the summer. We look forward to the Air Force ‘flying’ a GPS constellation on the COps OCS which includes the new GPS III satellites, later this year.”

Meanwhile, the first GPS III space vehicle (GPS III SV01), launched in December 2018, is finishing up pre-operational on-orbit check-out. It continues to be controlled by OCX Block 0 software installed at Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Launch and Checkout Center at the company’s Denver facility. GPS III SV01 is expected to be “handed over” to the COps OCS later this year after the legacy constellation is moved over to the updated AEP OCS.

Lockheed Martin has sustained the AEP OCS since 2013. In November 2018, the company completed the AEP 7.5 upgrade — the largest architectural change in the systems history — replacing significant code, hardware and software to improve the system’s cybersecurity capabilities and positioning the Air Force to better operate in contested, degraded and operationally limited environments.

In December 2018, the Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin the GPS Control Segment Sustainment II (GCS II) contract to continue to further modernize and sustain the AEP OCS through 2025. In 2020, the AEP OCS is expected to receive the M-Code Early Use (MCEU) upgrade, which will allow control of M-code, an advanced, new signal designed to improve anti-jamming and anti-spoofing, as well as to increase secure access to military GPS signals for U.S. and allied armed forces.

Lockheed Martin is under contract to develop and build up to 32 GPS III/IIIF satellites. GPS III will deliver three times better accuracy and provide up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities. GPS III’s new L1C civil signal will make it the first GPS satellite to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems. Additional “IIIF” capabilities, beginning at the 11th satellite, will include a fully digital navigation payload, Regional Military Protection, an accuracy-enhancing laser retroreflector array, and a Search & Rescue payload.

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ADS-B problem with GPS stems from faulty receiver

Image: FAA

Image: FAA

ADS-B transponder problems on some aircraft stem from a bad update to a large class of aviation receivers, according to a blog on the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation website. The Air Traffic Control System Command Center issued a blanket waiver on June 9 for all flights having GPS/ADS-B issues with their transponders.

According to various sources, the disruption briefly grounded entire fleets of regional jets. The resulting delays and cancellations rippled through the system.

On June 9, the FAA published a map purporting to show an area of GPS signal degradation in the United States. However,  the disruption appears to affect only certain Collins Aerospace (formerly Rockwell Collins) GPS receivers, according to AIN Online.

Collins Aerospace confirmed to AIN, “We identified a technical issue with our recently released GPS product(s) impacting availability, and have since determined the root cause and the resolution. We are engaging with our customers to ensure continued safe operational capability.”

The affected GPS receivers are GPS-4000S part number 822-2189-100 and GLU-2100 part number 822-2532-100.  It appears that all aircraft worldwide these receives are not able to locate satellite position signals.

“The absence of reports of problems from other modes of transportation and other industries certainly seems to justify refocusing from GPS signals to receivers as the root cause….” said the RNTF blog. “This is a good reminder for all that great signals in space are just one part of a ‘gold standard’ system. We also need unobstructed spectrum, great receiving equipment, and more than one source of great signals.”

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Mercury-ion atomic clock holds promise for greater GPS accuracy

The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) is readying for an ultra-precise atomic clock that could not only transform the navigation of deep space missions, it could also improve the accuracy of GPS timing and thus GPS positioning. It is expected to launch in June.

DSAC graphic: NASA:

Drawing of the DSAC mercury-ion trap showing the traps and the titanium vacuum tube that confine the ions. The quadrupole trap is where the hyper-fine transition is optically measured and the multipole trap is where the ions are “interrogated” by a microwave signal via a waveguide from the quartz oscillator. (Image: NASA.)

The Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC) is a very small (the size of a toaster) mercury-ion atomic clock that is as stable as a highly precise ground atomic clock, yet small enough to fly aboard a spacecraft, and rugged enough to operate in deep space. Current ground-based atomic clocks that locate and navigate deep space missions are too massive to fly in space themselves.

Thus, tracking data from the far-flung spacecraft must be collected and processed on Earth, meaning a two-way tracking link. DSAC will enable NASA to improve tracking data precision by an order of magnitude for its deep space missions out to Jupiter, Saturn — and beyond.

It could also be used to improve the accuracy of GPS. DSAC is more stable and accurate than the atomic clocks currently aboard GPS satellites. As system modernization proceeds, use of a DSAC aboard future satellites holds out many promises. DSAC technology uses the property of mercury ions’ hyperfine transition frequency at 40.50 GHz to steer the frequency output of a quartz oscillator to a near-constant value.

The clock confines the mercury ions with electric fields in a trap and protects them by applying magnetic fields and shielding. It is anticipated that DSAC would produce only 1 microsecond of error over 10 years.

For further details on NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock project and detailed callouts on the diagram above, look here.

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3D location platforms aids hotels, public safety indoors

Orion Labs has released Advanced Location Services, a high-accuracy, carrier-independent 3D location platform delivered via Polaris Wireless.

The service provides enterprises and public safety agencies with pinpoint location, indoors and in high-rise buildings, with floor-level and room-level accuracy, a difficult challenge in such GPS-denied environments.

Orion indoor location example (Screengrab: Orion)

Orion indoor location example (Screenshot: Orion Labs)

The system enables customers to locate team members on the vertical axis accurate to three meters’ distance, to keep teams better-informed and better-connected, enhance team performance and improve worker safety. It works via Orion Sync, a standalone smart walkie-talkie, or as device as a service, in a smartphone form factor.

“For our hospitality and retail customers, this offers the opportunity to greatly improve guest services and the experience they deliver. For public safety and healthcare customers, the integration has the potential to save lives,” said Jesse Robbins, founder and CEO.

According to co-founder and CTO Greg Albrecht, “With 3D location tracking, hospitality teams can easily pinpoint where their guest service workers are located and identify the right team member for faster guest response for tasks like bringing up clean towels to a guest, fixing a TV or lightbulb in a guestroom, or clearing trays and carts,” he said.

The system also protects lone workers. “When lone workers call for help, security teams can rapidly dispatch assistance without the lone worker needing to explain their location,” Albrecht said. “This is the same kind of technology that first responders are now adopting to accurately and rapidly locate 911 callers facing life-threatening situations.”

Hotel workers suffer work-related incidents, encompassing physical injuries, medical emergencies, theft and sexual harassment, nearly 50 percent more than is the average across all other industries. Large metropolitan hotels can approximate small cities, with as many as 5,000 rooms, 12,000 guests, and 8,000 employees. Even a moderate-sized hotel can have hundreds of employees scattered across many floors, some remote from central operations. Locating employees quickly is key to preventing or minimizing incidents.

Need maps. A fundamental challenge in developing 3D location awareness indoors is the need for accurate, detailed 3D renderings of the physical buildings themselves.

“For most buildings, this has never been done before and is often an arduous task to accomplish,” Albrecht added. “However, there is a mapping process to allow for precise data points to be leveraged within the Orion platform. It’s a very simple task that can be completed even by the hotel staff at the time of setup. After that, it’s extremely simple to set up teams within the Orion System with a 3D view of their property that they can use.”

The latest integration is undergoing tests at locations in Las Vegas and San Francisco, with more than 50 locations actively using the set-up.

In March, Polaris Wireless, a provider of software-based 3D location solutions to wireless operators, law enforcement and government agencies, and location-based application companies, announced the commercial availability of its high-accuracy carrier-independent 3D location platform for application developers.

In early 2018, Polaris Wireless participated in the CTIA’s Test Bed LLC Stage Z independent vertical location testing in San Francisco, Atlanta and Chicago, achieving floor-level accuracy.