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BAE Systems advanced positioning system a rival to GPS


Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 29 Jun 2012

pocketgpsworld.com
BAE Systems has taken the covers off a new positioning system that does away with the need for expensive GPS satellites.

The new system known as 'Navigation via Signals of Opportunity' (NAVSOP) calculates a position using signals from existing radio towers, wireless transmitters, cellphones and other communications systems.

The system is resistant to interference and jamming and requires no purpose built infrastructure. It also means it can function in areas where GPS has traditionally been poor or unusable such as under deep tree cover, inside buildings etc.

NAVSOP is still in the prototype development phase but it will be viewed with keen interest by the military with wide ranging uses including unmanned aerial vehicles and aiding soldiers.

BAE have said it is not intended to replace existing GPS networks but to complement them although it can of course continue to be used in situations where GPS is unavailable.

Source: BAE Systems



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Comments
Posted by vstrange on Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:35 am Reply with quote

Amazing !

It was almost 30 years ago I came across this when Peter Duffet-Smith was getting publicity and demonstrating on BBC in the 1980s. I wonder if the problems and limitations have been overcome, the names keep changing (Cursor, Cambridge Positioning Systems etc) but the money seems to keep flowing. It seems to be related to the half life of the people with money to invest in this sort of thing, you can keep going back to the well if you leave a decade or so between lowering the bucket down.

http://www.patentgenius.com/patent/5838279.html


 
Posted by Darren on Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:07 am Reply with quote

And anything with a military connection stands a better chance of achieving funding!


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by Cotnam on Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:21 am Reply with quote

Except the military it's self!


 
Posted by Darren on Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:23 am Reply with quote

Indeed, the state of single accommodation for servicemen and women is a prime example, shocking Sad


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by G1LIW on Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:25 pm Reply with quote

Hmm. Sounds similar in methodology to the US' AGPS system that uses Cell Tower triangulations and other ground-based radio signals to provide a coarse location when GPS isn't available.


Roger, G1LIW
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android Smartphone | SatNav Sygic for Android | Waze for Android | CamerAlert for Android | Blog http://rogersblant.blogspot.com/

 
Posted by dogdays on Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:58 pm Reply with quote

All these ideas depend on the availability and price of precessing power.


 
Posted by M8TJT on Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:32 pm Reply with quote

dogdays Wrote:
{snip}and price of precessing power.
I thought precessing was something to do with gyroscipes Very Happy


 
Posted by RamseyF on Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:16 pm Reply with quote

"Amazing !

It was almost 30 years ago I came across this when Peter Duffet-Smith was getting publicity and demonstrating on BBC in the 1980s. I wonder if the problems and limitations have been overcome, the names keep changing (Cursor, Cambridge Positioning Systems etc) but the money seems to keep flowing. It seems to be related to the half life of the people with money to invest in this sort of thing, you can keep going back to the well if you leave a decade or so between lowering the bucket down. "

Peter was my PhD supervisor at Cambridge, and (unsuprisingly) my PhD was in this field. Since finishing 5 years ago I've been developing the technology in a different direction to the traditional radio positioning schemes. It's easy to do all this stuff if you know where all the transmitters are, or have differential corrections from other receivers. Conversely, it's hard to do this stuff if you are trying to force existing consumer technology (eg. cellphones) to do all this stuff when they weren't really designed to do so. My target was to remove those restrictions, and I have driven some developments through learning algorithms, not restricting the hardware platform, and applying different indoor and outdoor positioning techniques to maintain high performance in both regimes. As it turns out the indoor positioning system can run using smartphone grade sensors and processing power (see my recent ION paper http://www.plansconference.org/abstract.cfm?meetingID=36&pid=51&t=C&s=1) as you can rely on singla strength measurements and a few other metrics. Outdoors however signal strength is a really poor metric and you concentrate on timing and carrier phase. So ignore the information in New Scientist - they have stated how NAVSOP works without actually asking me...! We use different metrics in different environments - definitely not just signal strength everywhere!

AGPS typically involves using the cellphone network to pass assistance data to the GPS receiver to assist a rapid fix, but there are some simple non GPS positioning systems available in phones today, such as WiFi database lookups and CellID lookup. Phones were not designed to perform precise measurements for radio positioning, so jerry-rigging phones gives quite coarse positioning compared to what you can get with kit designed for the purpose. A big factor is the ability to put multipath mitigation processing into the device. NAVSOP aims to provide a system that learns as much as possible on its own and stands for NAVigation via Signals of OPportunity by the way, in case people were wondering...!

Funding wise - if there are still problems (GPS doesn't work everywhere 100% of the time) there are still reasons to fund developments. And I guarantee you a lot more money is being spent on GNSS based methods (Galileo, Compass, Glonass....) than their independent backups.

Glad to see so much interest, and I hope you find this information useful! Smile

Ramsey


 
Posted by Kritou on Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:31 pm Reply with quote

horse's straight mouth Rolling Eyes


 
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