Posts Tagged ‘gps tracking’

Sensor-Equipped Footballs to Make Refs More Accurate

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

arush_cmu_footballtech-300x195.jpgAs everyone who’s had a ref make a bad call at their team’s expense knows, NFL refs aren’t perfect. But footballs and gloves with built-in sensors? Those might just make coach’s challenges history.

Dr. Priya Narasimhan of Carnegie Mellon University has developed the football and gloves, loading them up with wireless sensors that can precisely determine whether or not a ball hit the ground before being caught or whether or not someone had control of the ball before fumbling. It could also, using GPS, determine whether or not the ball cross the goal line. But the applications don’t stop there.

Eventually, the same kind of sensors used in the gloves could be adapted to shoes, to measure stride and running patterns, or even shoulder pads, to calculate blocking positions and force.The current version of the glove has 15 touch sensors on the fingers and palm, running to a wireless module on the back of the arm, said Adam Goldhammer of Richboro, Bucks County, a master’s student in electrical engineering at Carnegie Mellon.

Source: Gizmodo.com

Cold Chain Fleet Management Made Easy with ColdTrak

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

ColdTrak, the leading Cold Chain vehicle tracking system from market leading GPS tracking specialists CMS SupaTrak is helping UK businesses save money on cold chain running costs thanks to the tracking applications

The cold chain monitoring solution enables fleet managers to get more control of their cold chain fleets by tracking the exact location of their vehicles whilst allowing their drivers to monitor the precise temperatures of refrigerated cargo saving them considerable costs.

In accordance to EU regulation EN 12830:1999 all cold chain businesses must now supervise the exact temperature of chilled or refrigerated goods whilst in transit ColdTrak has proven to be an indispensable business asset.

ColdTrak works using the very latest ZigBee technology and uses robust sensors that send precise temperature recordings from the refrigerated trailer to a central information hub or system in the cab with the driver. Should there be any changes in temperature the driver will be notified and the correct action can be taken.

Source: Open Press

Bait Car: A car that catch criminals

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Auto theft can be very dangerous and this is a car thief that should have thought twice before stealing a bait car in Washington State. Check out this dramatic video.

A bait car, also called a decoy car, is a vehicle used by a law enforcement agency to capture car thieves. The vehicles are specially modified, with features including GPS tracking, hidden cameras that record audio, video, time, and date, which can all be remotely monitored by police. A remote controlled immobiliser (known as a “kill” device in law enforcement jargon) is installed in the vehicle that allows police to disable the engine and lock the doors.

The car is filled with valuable items and then parked in a high-vehicle theft area. In some cases, the vehicle is simply left unlocked with the keys hanging from the ignition. When the car is stolen, officers are alerted, who then send the radio signal that shuts off power to the engine and locks the doors, preventing an escape. The practice does not violate entrapment laws, since suspects are not persuaded to steal the vehicle by any means other than its availability and their own motivation.

The concept and technology was first developed by Jason Cecchettini of Pegasus Technologies and was used by the Sacramento Police Department in 1996, using Sedans like the Toyota Camry, and sports cars, such as the Honda Prelude.

The bait car is a phenomenon in the study of criminal behavior since it offers a rare glimpse into the actions and reactions of suspects before, during and after the crime. Unlike other crimes caught on surveillance cameras, suspects, at least initially, believe and react as if the crime has been wholly successful, until the bait car is apprehended by law enforcement personnel.

The largest bait car fleet in North America is operated by the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team (IMPACT), based in Surrey, British Columbia. Surrey was designated the “car theft capital of North America” by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 2002. Their program was launched in 2004, and has contributed to a 10% drop in auto thefts since then.

A LoJack is a similar technology, in that it allows a vehicle to be remotely tracked if it is stolen. These are typically installed in police vehicles.

Bait cars can be used as part of a honey trap, a form of sting operation, in which criminals not known to the police are lured into exposing themselves. Unlike a sting operation that targets a known or suspected criminal, a honey trap establishes a general lure to attract unknown criminals.

Bait cars (and the stings they are used in) have been featured in numerous documentary or reality television programs, including COPS and World’s Wildest Police Videos. They are also the exclusive focus of a 2007 Court TV (now truTV) series simply titled Bait Car.

Links: News10, BaitCar, BSM Wireless

GPS-based road tax in the Netherlands in 2011

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

radares-holanda-gps.jpg

It’s easy to argue that road taxes are quite unfair because they’re flat: You pay fees to drive around; it doesn’t matter how much you actually use the car.

The Netherlands has decided to improve the country’s road tax by taxing according to the vehicle type, usage, hour and roads the vehicle is using. The system uses GPS, a car transmitter and a standard cell phone GSM network to send this information to a central computer that processes the information. Once these figures are calculated, the driver is charged. Congestion and the environment are both taken into consideration in the rate scheme. Using a highway that enters a city in peak hours while driving an SUV will be taxed more than driving a small car in a rural area where private vehicles are more of a necessity.

Dutch officials hope the system will reduce CO2 emissions and congestion, because the Dutch government claims that there is no more room to build more roads. Critics say this system is an attack on privacy: a computer will know where and when you’ve driven, although the company that implements the system guarantees that this information won’t be stored once translated into money. The system starts in 2011 for freight transport and will be expanded to include cars in 2012. Full deployment of the system is scheduled to be completed in 2016. A similar system has been under study in the UK.

Source: Qué!, Motor Authority

Different GPS wildlife tracking solutions

Saturday, May 31st, 2008
WildLife Tracking

GPS wildlife Tracking or GPS Telemetry is another high-potential growth area for GPS applications. With ever smaller dimensions and weights and the availability of solar cell power these devices can be used in a growing number of cases. For most of us GPS tracking means probably GPS vehicle tracking systems, but we will show even more spectacular applications in quite different fields.

Collecting GPS data is one thing, but reading the data is often more complicated and, especially in real-time, rather expensive. The simpler ‘passive’ units store the data in internal memory. Data can only be read, once the unit is retrieved by the user or sometimes when the unit comes within the reach of a radio connection between the unit and a (portable) receiver.

More sophisticated GPS wildlife tracking units send the data via a cellular phone network in regular time intervals or on demand in the case of units with two-way communication. It is obvious that this only can function within the coverage area of the cellular phone network.

Two-way communication has the extra advantage that the programming of the unit can be modified, even with the unit in use and at distance. This way the user can change the time intervals between reports, or even met the unit in a pause position.

The most expensive GPS wildlife tracking systems send the data in regular intervals via satellites (Argos, GlobalStar). This stands for a really global coverage, but is not a real time solution as the satellites can not be reached 24h/24h. Data can only be sent or received when a satellite is overhead.

GPS Wildlife tracking systems

GPS wildlife tracking systems are now available for almost all mammals and even for the bigger birds. In 1994 the first collar, the Lotek GPS_1000 weighed 1.8 kg and was too heavy for mid-sized mammals. Less than 10 years later Microwave Telemetry has developed the PTT-100, a 70 gr solar powered GPS tracking system that transmits the data to the Argos satellite system. We present some other manufacturers and their programs.

The above-mentioned Lotek specializes in GPS collars for small to large mammals. Their collars contain a VHF tracking beacon. Other innovations include remote two-way communication, which allows you to retrieve data on demand and/or reprogram the collar while it is still on the animal. Temperature and mortality sensors as well as field uploads and downloads. All the GPS wildlife tracking collars can be equipped with a remote release mechanism or a drop-off mechanism that is activated after the expiration of a factory pre-programmed time delay.

Televilt Sweden manufactures three different types of collars as well as backpacks for birds. The GPS-Simplex uses a radio link while GPS-Direct and GPS-Weblink use a cell phone modem (GSM 900/1800). All systems can be fitted with a drop off (pre-programmed or remote control release). Televilt only uses Lithium batteries. GPS-Direct and GPS-Weblink are customer programmable while on animal.

Telemetry Solutions is a Californian based telemetry company involved in GPS wildlife tracking since 1998. Last year the development of a proper GPS collar started. The project focuses on equipment reliability (expressed in back-up VHF beacon, two built-in drop off units, custom made GPS receiver amplifier etc.) and how the product is supported. TS intends to deliver a very reliable system and back it up with customer support. This may not seem as anything new; however, wildlife biologists all around the world are used to failing GPS collars and not too friendly customer support. TS intends to change that, to the better. Toma Track is their distributor of GPS wildlife tracking devices in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

BlueSky Telemetry in the UK manufactures GPS tracking collars. The modular design of each collar range enables the biologist to pick and choose different components to suit their individual application. The following options are available: GSM mobile telephone engine, UHF radio modem and Satellite telephone engine, enabling remote setup and download. Other options include Programmable remote drop-off, Temperature, Mortality and Activity sensors and a VHF or UHF radio telemetry beacon.

Telonics has a long history in manufacturing wildlife telemetry, conventional telemetry and tracking devices. Their Store-on-Board GPS Collars for animal tracking applications, with or without ARGOS Uplink, are only part of a program of quality electronics for wildlife, environmental research and special applications.

Wildlife tracking

Environmental Studies from Germany is distributor of Vectronic Aerospace GPS collars. The modular system around the GPS Plus collar offers two completely different options of data download while the collar is still on the animal: via UHF radio link on demand or continuously via GSM mobile phone directly into the office. Several accessories are available: a VHF beacon, an activity/mortality logger, a temperature logger and different drop-off systems. All GPS collars can store the positions of the animal on board in non-volatile flash memory. The same technology is also available as a 160gr backpack for large birds.

Wildlife Track Inc. develops and manufactures telemetry and direction finding systems. Their GPS wildlife tracking collars store up to 6240 three-dimensional locations with date and time in nonvolatile memory. Nominal weight is 500 gr and a VHF beacon is standard on all collars. GPS battery lasts up to 7 years (one fix per day). GPS collar circumference is adjustable and WGS 84 or NAD 83 Datums can be specified upon ordering.

The Advanced Telemetry Systems GPS Remote Release Collar can be remotely triggered to drop off the animal on command with the available ATS Command Unit. The collar will also automatically drop off as it reaches the end of its battery life to ensure data retrieval. Up to 8190 locations can be stored on board the unit. The collar incorporates a VHF transmitter to signal location, the status of the last GPS co-ordinate, mortality and battery conditions. The ATS collar also provides data on animal activity, ambient temperature, mortality, VHF duty cycle program, battery voltage and the amount of time logged on the battery backup.

North Star has developed a line of animal GPS collars and bird borne platform transmitter terminals (PTT’s). Acquisition of GPS locations for store and forward through a satellite service provider can be programmed in a variety of duty cycles.

Source: GPS-practice-and-fun.com

GPS Logger Tracks Your Mail

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

The GPS mail logger tracks itself. The idea is that you slide it into an envelope to discover why your mail is being delayed. The logger can be set to record positioning data at timed intervals or when it detects movement. It looks fairly easy to use, and integrates with Google Earth, but we see problems.

One, it costs $700. Two, what if it gets lost in the mail. There would be a supreme irony in losing a GPS tracker in the post (the data is recorded to a MicroSD card, not beamed directly to the owner). Three, even if your mail is going astray, what do you do? Call up the postal service and complain that the mail van was stuck in traffic for two hours?

No. We think the real reason for shipping a gadget that will fit into an envelope is cheap attempt by Brickhouse Security to cash in on some of the MacBook Air sexy. Manilla is the new white plastic, baby.

Product page [Brickhouse Security via Crave]