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Spirent, dSPACE enhance autonomous driving test solutions

Image: metamorworks/iStock/Getty Images/Getty Images

Image: metamorworks/iStock/Getty Images/Getty Images

dSPACE and Spirent Communications have entered a technology partnership, to enhance the realism of real-time positioning scenarios in autonomous driving hardware-in-the-loop (AD-HIL) test systems. This collaboration aims to accelerate the development and deployment of autonomous driving technologies.

The partnership combines dSPACE’s AD-HIL systems with Spirent’s high-fidelity GSS7000 GNSS simulator. The integration allows developers to validate autonomous driving systems in critical location-based scenarios using real satellite signals. By offering a comprehensive, pre-integrated solution from a single source, the partnership aims to assure consistent performance and speed up the development process.

The precision and latency of GNSS-enabled systems are becoming increasingly vital, particularly in the context of higher levels of driving automation. To address these challenges, the GSS7000 simulator — which has high-fidelity radio frequency (RF) signal generation and low latency response — will work alongside dSPACE’s AD-HIL. Additionally, the partnership allows for the validation of jamming and spoofing scenarios as part of security-relevant functional tests for autonomous platforms. Additionally, Spirent’s SimHIL software interface is designed to provide effective communication between each partner’s systems.

The partnership aims to meet the growing demand for efficient and safe testing solutions for connected and autonomous vehicles, including at SAE Levels of Driving Automation at or beyond Level 3.

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DCU, Bentley partner for 3D smart city research initiative

Image: DCU

Image: DCU

Dublin City University (DCU) has partnered with Bentley Systems to create an advanced digital twin of its campus as part of its Smart DCU initiative. The partnership combines artificial intelligence (AI) and immersive digital twin technology. The campus will be used as a testing ground for innovative smart city solutions, with the aim of creating sustainable, efficient, and enjoyable urban spaces worldwide.

Bentley’s open 3D and reality modeling technology can create a campus model intricately linked with Internet of Things (IoT) data, which results in an immersive digital twin on its iTwin Platform.

The campus digital twin offers users a seamlessly interconnected and smart environment by integrating AI-powered analysis with a user-friendly interface for visualizing complex analytics. This allows for proactive problem-solving, optimization of resources, and informed decision-making intending to improve urban functionality and sustainability.

The digital twin has inspired environmental initiatives and simplified data visualization on campus, empowering agencies, and individuals to implement intelligent processes that shape the future of their cities, DCU said.

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Trimble partners with IIT Kanpur to enhance UAV technology in India

Image: Polina Shuvaeva/ iStock / Getty Images Plus/ Getty Images

Image: Polina Shuvaeva/ iStock / Getty Images Plus/ Getty Images

Trimble has begun collaborating with the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur (IIT Kanpur) to support a new UAV program offered by the Department of Aerospace Engineering.

Under the partnership, Trimble will provide the institution with direct georeferencing (DG) products for UAV survey and mapping, including a suite of Applanix board sets and supporting processing software. Trimble will also provide training and support to educate the UAV engineering team on how best to integrate and use the products within their teaching curriculum.

India is projected to be the fastest-growing UAV market by 2025, according to a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The collaboration is designed to help the country develop local expertise in using UAV georeferencing best practices while providing future generations with the knowledge and capabilities to work with the latest UAV technology.

IIT Kanpur was declared an Institute of National Importance (INI) by the Government of India under the Institutes of Technology Act. With a dedicated program for UAV education, it receives government funding to develop UAV technology and build out labs to support student training and research. IIT Kanpur’s researchers are credited with creating the first solar-powered UAVs developed in India, named MARAAL-1 and MARAAL-2.

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Qualinx, EUSPA partner for GNSS receiver development

Image: ESA

Photo: ESA

Qualinx, a company specializing in ultra-low power wireless tracking and connectivity semiconductors, has announced a partnership with the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA). This collaboration, under the Fundamental Elements EU R&D funding mechanism, aims to develop a consumer-grade, low-power GNSS receiver for EUSPA’s GNSS authentication service.

The project focuses on the Galileo Open Service Navigation Message Authentication (OSNMA) service, which is designed to verify that users are receiving data from Galileo satellites. This service was introduced in response to an increasing number of spoofing incidents. Qualinx was selected for this project following a six-month selection process conducted by EUSPA.

Qualinx’s technology, known as digital radio frequency (DRF), transforms most analog functions of a wireless chip into digital circuits, which can be customized for each application through software. This technology is designed to reduce power consumption compared to traditional GNSS receivers. The company aims to provide smaller, more cost-effective solutions while extending the operating life of battery-powered navigation devices.

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Viasat demonstrates SBAS for UK EGNOS

Representatives from organizations involved in the UK Sovereign Satellite Based Augmentation System. (Image: Viasat)

Representatives from organizations involved in the UK Sovereign Satellite Based Augmentation System. (Image: Viasat)

Viasat, a global communications company, has successfully demonstrated the UK Satellite-Based Augmentation System (UK SBAS) during a recent test flight. This demonstration, conducted as part of an ongoing trial funded by the Department for Transport through the European Space Agency (ESA), showcased the potential of UK SBAS to provide accurate GPS data to improve safety and operational efficiency.

“The trial on a sovereign UK SBAS is all about delivering trust. Trust for pilots in their tracking systems to stay safe in challenging conditions. Trust for the aviation industry more broadly so it can rely on data to operate more efficiently,” said Todd McDonnell, president, international government, Viasat.

The test flight, carried out from Cranfield Airport using the National Flying Laboratory Centre’s Saab 340B aircraft, demonstrated the capabilities of a UK-based SBAS to deliver more precise and reliable navigation data. With the UK no longer part of the EU’s European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), the trial aims to pave the way for a complementary UK SBAS, specifically designed for critical safety-of-life navigation services across air, land and sea.

UK SBAS operates by merging ground monitoring data with satellite connectivity, which offers positioning accuracy down to a few centimeters. The system aims to significantly enhance safety in aviation by providing pilots with confidence in their onboard instruments, particularly during challenging weather conditions where visibility may be limited.

The successful aviation test marks a crucial step in further trials across various transport applications, including rail, unmanned aerial vehicles, and autonomous road vehicles, said Viasat.

Fully funded by the government through ESA’s Navigation Innovation and Support Program (NAVISP) program, the trial aligns with broader efforts to deliver high-accuracy, high-integrity positioning services to boost efficiency and innovation across the transport network.

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US DOT approves $2.5B in bonds for Brightline West rail project

Image: Brightline

Image: Brightline

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved $2.5 billion worth of bonds to help fund the Brightline West high-speed rail project connecting Las Vegas, Nevada, and Southern California.

The 218-mile line, estimated to cost $12 billion in total, will run along the I-15 median with electric trains capable of running at 186 mph.

The DOT previously approved private activity bonds of $1 billion for the project in 2020. The second tranche of private activity bonds brings the total to $3.5 billion. In December 2023, the DOT also awarded a $3 billion grant from President Biden’s infrastructure law to the Nevada DOT for the project.

In June 2023, DOT awarded a $25 million grant to San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Program to be used for the construction of the Brightline West stations in Hesperia and Victor Valley, California.

Brightline West is expected to break ground in early 2024.

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Three US troops killed, up to 34 injured in Jordan UAV strike linked to Iran

Image: NiseriN/ iStock / Getty Images Plus/ Getty Images

Image: NiseriN/ iStock / Getty Images Plus/ Getty Images

Three U.S. service members were killed and dozens wounded during a UAV attack on U.S. forces stationed in northeastern Jordan near the Syrian border, President Joe Biden and U.S. officials said on January 28.

Biden blamed Iran-backed groups for the attack, the first deadly strike against U.S. forces since the Israel-Hamas war erupted in October 2023 and sent shock waves throughout the Middle East.

“While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” Biden said in a statement.

At least 34 personnel were being evaluated for possible traumatic brain injury, a U.S. official told Reuters, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Two officials said some wounded U.S. forces were medically evacuated from the base for further treatment.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq – an umbrella organization of Iran-backed militant groups — claimed attacks on three bases, including one on the Jordan-Syria border.

The attack is a major escalation in the already tense situation in the Middle East, where war broke out in Gaza after the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people. Israel’s subsequent assault on Gaza has killed more than 26,000 Palestinians as of January 2024, according to the local health ministry.

Since then, U.S. forces have come under attack more than 150 times by Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria. U.S. warships have also been fired at by Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen, who are regularly attacking commercial ships passing through Red Sea waters off Yemen’s coast.

While the United States has maintained an official line that Washington is not at war in the region, it has been retaliating against the Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria and carrying out strikes against Yemen’s Houthi military capabilities.

Referring to the fallen soldiers, in his statement released by the White House Biden said: “We will carry on their commitment to fight terrorism. And have no doubt — we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner of our choosing.”

The post Three US troops killed, up to 34 injured in Jordan UAV strike linked to Iran first appeared on GPS World.

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GMV, Astroscale partner with ESA for Galileo SiS satellite collision avoidance

Image: GMV

Image: GMV

GMV and Astroscale UK are collaborating on a new project under the European Space Agency (ESA) collision risk and automated mitigation (CREAM) program. The project aims to transform satellite collision avoidance by using Galileo Signal-in-Space (SiS) capabilities.

As low-Earth orbits (LEO) become increasingly congested, satellite operators face difficulties efficiently carrying out collision avoidance maneuvers. In response, the ESA launched the project to explore alternative paths for late collision avoidance maneuvers. The collaboration uses the Galileo Return Link Service to improve the way satellites respond to collision risks.

Traditionally, communication with satellites for collision avoidance maneuvers has been constrained by the limited availability of ground station access. This limitation forces satellite operators to delay crucial avoidance maneuvers while relying on the final passes of ground stations.

GMV’s solution offers an alternative pathway for late maneuver commanding, designed to reduce the wait time for initiating collision avoidance. The initiative proposes a continuous and reliable communication path by using the Galileo, SiS and its Return Link Service. This approach allows for the seamless relay of collision avoidance maneuver decisions to satellites equipped with onboard Galileo-compatible GNSS receivers.

The Galileo system in this role also opens the door to potential synergy with other space situational awareness (SSA) services, such as the European Space Surveillance and Tracking (EU SST). According to GMV, this strategic collaboration could potentially set the foundation for a globally available collision avoidance service.

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Image: Stanford Engineering GPS lab

Image: Stanford Engineering GPS lab, a Silicon Valley-based company specializing in off-road and unstructured autonomy, has released its assured positioning, navigation, and timing (A-PNT) solution. The solution — called BlueSpace Positioning Solution (BPS) — illustrates how artificial intelligence (AI) can enhance navigation precision in GPS-denied and GPS-degraded environments for both manned and unmanned vehicles.

BPS is designed to address the challenges posed by weak GPS signals, susceptible to jamming, spoofing and unintentional blockages in various environments. It can support a cross-track error, or drift error, of less than 0.3%. This surpasses the industry standard of approximately 1% error over distance traveled. BPS also aims to maintain high performance while using industrial-grade inertial measurement units (IMUs), which leads to improvements in size, weight and power (SWaP).

The AI solution is designed to eliminate geofence limitations and remove dependencies on prior training data and ultra-HD mapping. has participated in a variety of defense and commercial applications, including applications in challenging underground mining environments, truck and bus automation and off-road autonomy.

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Modeling Pompeii: A new era of tech-driven collaboration in archaeology

A street in Pompeii shows the structures that were remarkably preserved after Mount Vesuvius covered the city in ash in 79 CE. Everything about Porta Nocera, Region I 14 is being digitized by archaeologists. (Image: Allison Emmerson)

A street in Pompeii shows the structures that were remarkably preserved after Mount Vesuvius covered the city in ash in 79 CE. Everything about Porta Nocera, Region I 14 is being digitized by archaeologists. (Image: Allison Emmerson)

At the edge of Pompeii, along a city gate known as the Porta Nocera, professor Allison Emmerson of Tulane University directs a team of archaeologists. The famous Roman city, frozen in time when Mount Vesuvius erupted and covered it with ash, continues to reveal new insights to archaeologists nearly 275 years after the site was first discovered.

Within a building long believed to be a home around 2,000 years ago, the team unearthed a different story — one unraveling traces of economics, urban design, and social life among an elite and a lower class. To tell the story, Emmerson and her team have created a location-aware digital twin of the excavation site, which incorporates 2D maps, smart maps, and 3D models. The team is also able to share live data via a fully digital workflow using iPad Pros and Apple Pencils.

Revolutionary documentation with mobile app workflows

The latest geographic information system (GIS) technology allows Emmerson’s team to digitize everything they unearth at Porta Nocera, Region I Insula 14 as part of the Pompeii I.14 Project run by Tulane.

The team first used UAV imagery, terrestrial photography, and a technique called structure-from-motion photogrammetry to create a base map and 3D base model of the site. They then used tablets loaded with GIS apps to layer data over that 3D base model.

Leading the GIS data collection workflow is professor Alex Elvis Badillo, cohead of the project’s digital data initiatives team. Badillo said the archeologists use GIS documentation on the iPad Pro to record and explore data in layers to avoid information destruction.

Using ArcGIS Survey123, the team can share data on-site and implement paperless workflows. That data can also be linked to digital ArcGIS Dashboards to keep track of progress and foster collaboration during the excavation.

Interpreting the dig site

Emmerson and her team determined that the structure they initially uncovered was used for commercial activity such as shopping and dining, often identified with the lower classes at the time. Meanwhile, an elite residence was located right next door and the two buildings shared resources.

Lidar (light detection and ranging) uses laser light to densely sample the surface of the Pompeii I.14 site, producing highly accurate x,y,z measurements that provide the foundation for the digital twin. (Image: Allison Emmerson)

Lidar (light detection and ranging) uses laser light to densely sample the surface of the Pompeii I.14 site, producing highly accurate x,y,z measurements that provide the foundation for the digital twin. (Image: Allison Emmerson)

The Pompeii I.14 Project is ongoing. Once it is complete, the data will be incorporated into a larger digital twin from the Pompeii Bibliography and Mapping Project (2017) led by Eric Poehler, an associate professor of Classics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It will also be added to Pompeii’s central archaeology database and be available to policymakers, educators, archaeologists, and the public.

Researchers hope that a new understanding of the economic and social life of an ancient city such as Pompeii can not only inform us about the past but also help us create a better future.

UAV imagery draped over the lidar data provides a photorealistic surrogate of the Pompeii I.14 Project site, which serves as the centerpiece for project data collection. (Image: Allison Emmerson)

UAV imagery draped over the lidar data provides a photorealistic surrogate of the Pompeii I.14 Project site, which serves as the centerpiece for project data collection. (Image: Allison Emmerson)