Locata positioning hits ground at New Mexico missile range

Jan 04, 2013 by Nancy Owano report
Credit: Locata

(Phys.org)—A new positioning system can take on where GPS leaves off. An Australia-based company, Locata, is featuring a ground-based system using stronger signals than GPS for pinpointing a person's location indoors or outdoors. In place of satellites, Locata has developed technology that features ground-based equipment to project a radio signal over a localized area. A Locata network of small, ground-based transmitters blankets a chosen area with strong radio-positioning signals. This is a "terrestrially" based system capable of powerful signals, which can work in both internal and external environments.

The company's site points out that its technology does not rely on and yet its transmitters can achieve an extremely high level of synchronization. Locata's patented method is called TimeLoc. According to the site, Locata's transmitters are "chronologically 'locked' together."

The company's CEO, Nunzio Gambale, said Locata can be viewed as an important technology development for the future of the positioning industry. Interestingly, the U.S. military, which created the (GPS) technology, has signed a contract involving the use of Locata technology at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. This is a multiyear, multimillion dollar contract to install a ground-based LocataNet ("LocataNet" refers to a positioning network that can operate in combination with GPS or can operate independent of GPS) positioning system at the missile range. The USAF will field Locata's technology to supply "reference truth" positioning across a vast area when GPS is being completely jammed.

Locata works alongside GPS, rather than replacing it. The company makes it clear that Locata is "a local extension and expansion of GPS. It works with GPS, but can also operate independently when GPS is not robust or completely unavailable. "

Uses of Locata technology include the military and mining. Leica Geosystems Mining last year announced a partnership with Locata to provide the mining industry with a high-precision radio positioning system called the Leica Jigsaw Positioning System (Jps). Positioning fails in a mine if a significant number of the satellites are blocked. This happens especially in deep pits and against high walls. To address blocked signals and downtime, Leica Jps was brought in, powered by Locata, in the form of a constellation of ground-based satellites, or alternative points of reference, to be used with or independent of the GPS satellite network.

Locata is also looking into units that could be small enough for smartphones, which might become available in the coming years.

Explore further: Verizon launches rewards program with tracking

More information: www.locatacorp.com/wp-content/… June-2012-Public.pdf

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User comments : 5

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Jeddy_Mctedder
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 04, 2013
Gps will inevitably be rendered totally obsolete. Heres why;1)countermeasures.... nukes in outerspace, debris fields, and missiles ALL of which can be disguised as solar flares, and the hyperbolic tipping point of space garbage.

This is the dirty secret of gps. The u.s. Higher ups know the chinese and russians or anyone with space capabilities can easily disav
E if not, destroy even hardened sattelites. ------let alone vagaries of mother nature destroyi.g them.

Space warfare necessitates future militaries develop non gps targeting and location systems.
gwrede
not rated yet Jan 04, 2013
Why not, jeddy, try to sober up before writing here.
Jeddy_Mctedder
1 / 5 (3) Jan 05, 2013
spelling errors were because of a cell phone making it difficult.

seriously though, you've heard of the carrington event---http://en.wikiped..._of_1859

if an event of such magnitude happens again, all gps sattelites will be destroyed, and if they aren't , the flare gives perfect cover for any hostile countries to destroy them with countermeasures completely undetected.

satellites are extremely vulnerable. they always will be, this is a fact. space is an unforgiving environment, to our machines. Eventually, the strategic advantages of space will themselves be exploited. the arms race always discounts the possibilities of countermeasures and thus one always needs develop substitutes and alternatives.
alfie_null
not rated yet Jan 05, 2013
From the link, I note that by default the system uses the unlicensed 2.4 GHz band, same as WiFi. Perhaps 802.11 frames. PTP for synchronization? Authentication? Encryption? It's easy to see potential vulnerabilities. I'm not sure if Jeddy is suggesting this is a good alternative in military conflict situations.
baudrunner
not rated yet Jan 05, 2013
It's still cheaper to place GPS satellites in orbit than to create a world-wide network of ground-based GPS transponders.