Posts Tagged ‘Tracking Technologies’

Israeli Drone Pilots Made Their Life-and-Death Choices Over Gaza, and how?

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

A Heron drone at the Palmahim air base in Israel in December of 2011. Photo: AP/Dan Balilty

The latest round of fighting between Israel and Hamas has settled into an uneasy ceasefire. But that won’t stop Israel’s drones from filling the skies over Gaza. In this 2009 story, written during the final days of the last Israel-Hamas  conflict, we took a look at how one drone pilot grappled with the moral choices that came with remotely spying, and ordering death, from above.

Life or Death choices will never been easier with judgement done through small screen. how these guys, manage doing these task properly or most importantly humanly. Guess, wired have this story covered here. Come on, take a look.

Courtesy: Wired.com

 

A GPS without GPS

Monday, July 11th, 2011

gsmlocalizerWow, that sounds weird. It’s actually a mini GSM-based localizer without any GPS devices attached. It’s an old device with the cheaper SimCom module SIM900.  Here is a complete working GSM localizator which is pretty cheap and small too.

As introduction, this system allows localization without directly using GPS technology; we are able to locate the desired object fairly precisely by using database availability together with the geographic position of the cells themselves. In some country the cell coordinates are not publicly known (i.e. in Italy). If so, where do we find such data? Through Google Maps… Google has been able to store billions of data regarding the location of its clients’ cell phones. But how does GSM localization work? The radio mobile network is made up of a number of adjacent radio cells, each of which is characterized by an identifier consisting of four data: a progressive number (Cell ID), a code related to the area in which that given cell is (LAC, or Local Area Code), the code of national network to which the cell belongs (MCC, an acronym for  Mobile Country Code), and finally the company code (MNC, or Mobile Network Code), which obviously identifies the phone company itself. For this reason, once a cell name and coordinates are known, and considering the maximum distance allowed between this cell and a phone  before the phone connects to a new cell, it is possible to find out, approximately, the most distant position of the phone itself. For example, if the maximum distance has been determined to be one mile, the cell phone can be within a one-mile radius. It can be deduced that the more cells are found in a given area, the more precisely one can determine where the phone is located (up to 200-350 feet). The idea of employing only a GSM device to build a remote localization system occurred to us when we realized that Google Maps Mobile, which had been conceived to allow smartphones equipped with a GPS receiver to use Google for satellite navigation, was extended to all cell phones, as long as they were able to support GPRS or UMTS data.  Naturally, this method allows but for a rough estimate: determining the precise position of the cell phone hinges on data regarding the coverage of a given cell which can only be provided by the Google server.

DataCell

The circuit

Compared to traditional localizers based on GPS, this device presents many advantages, primarily because it is lighter and less bulky, has a cost lesser and greater autonomy to exercise. This means that about one battery lithium ion, such as 1 Ah, our tracker can be in operation for several days (it all depends on the number of SMS that have to do). A locator based on cellular network may answare more immediately: the GPS receiver may take several minutes to determine its position. Our tracker works battery and thus can be brought on by people who may have the need to ask help or be tracked, but also placed on board motor vehicles (without installation) or simply introduced in goods in transit. To avoid unnecessarily draining the battery, the localizator provides its position via SMS, on requesto with a simple phone call. Among the functions implemented there is the SOS: By pressing the button the localizator sends a text message asking for help, containing the coordinates of position, the sending can be done to a maximum of eight thelephone numbers. When queried or with the autoreport function, sends an SMS with the localization.To know the location of remote device must send an SMS request cell is connected and sends a request (via GPRS) to Google’s site, the latter responds with the coordinates and the figure for the precision. Everything happens in seconds.

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Well, you can get hell of these stuff from link provided afterward. Design files and the firmware are included. A fun stuff to experiment with at your disposal. Mini GSM localizer without GPS at open-electronics.org.

All images are courtesy of open-electronics.org

Japan setting out to get its own GPS off the ground

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

japan-gps.jpgHow’s your Sunday? ah-ha, here some GPS-related article for your weekend technological feed, have a nice weekend.

The Japanese government – with the the assistance of private firms – is ramping up research on a Japanese version of the Global Positioning System in a bid to turn satellite-based technologies into a key export, the Nikkei reports. As far as we know,  it’s already runs. But turning it into an export – is really a good idea to me.

Plans are afoot to conduct joint research and development on this – nine firms and two organisations are slated to participate in a study group to be formed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry at the end of the month, with an aim to come up with new services in five years, the report says.

The venture will include companies such as NEC and Mitsubishi Electric Corp, which develop satellites or ground facilities, as well as those with a broad range of businesses, including transport systems, logistics and machinery.Having launched a quasi-zenith positioning satellite last September, the addition of two or three more satellites will enable an around-the-clock service, though specific plans for the second satellite haven’t been drawn up yet.

The Japanese satellite system is designed to supplement the GPS currently operated by the US, and is meant to cover the region, including that of Southeast Asia and Australia.A domestic GPS would yield many benefits beyond just making and launching satellites – with a projection that the overall market will grow from around four trillion yen in 2008 to roughly 10 trillion yen in 2013, a wide range of infrastructure-related fields will stand to grow as well.

Courtesy: paultan

Related:  Quasi-Zenith Satellite System, QZSS

Car eye-tracking system wakes you before you crash

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Car-dashboard-eyetracker

Falling asleep while at the helm of a few tons of metal and plastic going 60 miles-per-hour doesn’t end well, but there’s little the modern car can do about it. If it, say, stopped itself suddenly it could become a hazard to other drivers. The Eyetracker system knows it’s not on the car, though — it’s on you to drive safe.

With that in mind, the German-based Eyetracker watches the driver’s face for telltale signs of sleepiness, and issues a warning if it looks like you’re about to doze off. The system uses two cameras to keep tabs on the spatial positioning of the pupil and the line of vision — which would waver if you’re about to pass out. In other words, it makes sure your eyes are on the road.

What’s really exciting here is how small and easy to install the system is, which could see it put to use in ways other than keeping drivers awake (a noble cause, to be sure). Despite the picture above, the Eyetracker doesn’t need a laptop to function, and its control unit is the size of a matchbox. What’s more, it can be installed in any car as it handles all of its own processing itself.

Beyond just the automobile world, the Eyetacker could aid in medical operations where being able to keep on eye on — well — an eye is essential, or even in video games, serving as a head-tracker that lets the player look around without the aid of a physical controller.

Source: Fraunhofer

Arduino balloon tracking

Friday, March 19th, 2010

The Ferret is a high-altitude balloon tracking hardware package. Created by [Adam Greig] and [Jon Sowman], it uses an Arduino to gather NMEA data from a GPS unit, format the data into a string, and transmit that string on narrow-band FM. The project, built in one afternoon, is a tribute to the prototyping simplicity the Arduino provides.

The unit was powered by four AA batteries, using the Arduino’s on board voltage regulator. This provided a bit of heat which helps in the frigid reaches of the upper atmosphere. The bundle above was put in a project box and attached to the outside of the balloon’s payload, then covered with foam for warmth and moisture resistance. This tracking is a lot less complicated than some of the photography setups we’ve seen for balloons. It’s also more versatile because it broadcasts the GPS data so that many people can track it, rather than just logging its location.

Courtesy: Hackaday

Blue Force Tracking

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Tank_traning.jpg

 Blue Force Tracking is a United States military term used to denote a GPS-enabled system that provides military commanders and forces with location information about friendly (and despite its name, also about hostile) military forces.

In military symbology, the color blue is typically used to designate friendly forces while red is used for enemies, and green or yellow are used for neutral forces.

Blue Force Tracking systems consist of a computer, used to display location information, a satellite terminal and satellite antenna, used to transmit location and other military data, a Global Positioning System receiver (to determine its own position), command-and-control software (to send and receive orders, and many other battlefield support functions), and mapping software, usually in the form of a GIS, that plots the BFT device on a map. The system displays the location of the host vehicle on the computer’s terrain-map display, along with the locations of other platforms (friendly in blue, and enemy in red) in their respective locations. BFT can also be used to send and receive text and imagery messages, and Blue Force Tracking has a mechanism for reporting the locations of enemy forces and other battlefield conditions (for example, the location of mine fields, battlefield obstacles, bridges that are damaged, etc.). Users will include the United States Army, the United States Marines Corps, the United States Air Force and the United Kingdom. Recently, the United States Army, the United States Marines Corps have reached agreement to standardize on a shared system, to be called “Joint Battle Command Platform”, which will be derived from the Army’sFBCB2system that was used by the United States Army, the United States Marines Corps, and the Army of the United Kingdom during heavy combat operations in Iraq in 2003. (more…)

Thai researchers adopt RFID to track fish breeding

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Fisheries_Kampong.jpg

Fishery researchers in Thailand plan to adopt an RFID-enabled system to track the broodstock – the fish kept isolated for breeding purposes – of several fish species key to the country’s export business. With the system, researchers can track the development of the broodstock and supervise crossbreeding programs to improve the species.

Researchers at the Department of Fisheries Science at King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Lad-krabang are embedding RFID chips in three aquatic species, the Giant Prawn, Nile Tilapia and Walking Catfish. The three species are crucial to Thailand’s economy, with an export value of about 2 billion bahts a year.

Since last year, the team has embedded RFID chips into more than a thousand of the three aquatic species. Researchers are working to determine the least disruptive way to insert the tags into the tiny juvenile creatures. To keep the system simple, the tags will only include a serial number to identify the individual. Other information, such as the animal’s breed, its growth and diet, will be maintained in a database.

“We will track an animal’s growth on a monthly basis, to monitor its overall development. The software will help us analyze the data. If we find that the animal is not growing well, we will implement cross breeding to improve the species,” said project leader Rungtawan Panakulchaiwit.

The project has received funding from the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre, as well as support from two private RFID companies, Silicon Craft Technology and IE Technology. After the pilot program is completed, the research center plans to promote the technology to private aquatic-animal farms across the country to help improve their farm management.

Source: RFID News

Photo: Rekhan

GlobalTrak Introduces New Radiation Detector on Wireless Remote Sensor Node

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:WbQIXjuJC_ZglM:http://www.maritimeinstituteonline.com/images/Container%2520Logistics%2520and%2520Documentation%2520Course%2520Photo.jpg GlobalTrak’s Remote Sensor Nodes (RSNs) increase the shipper’s ability to monitor cargo condition with a variable set of sensors for door status, humidity, temperature, a 3-axis accelerometer, and now an extremely sensitive gamma detector, a long term stable sensor with built-in temperature compensation and low power consumption.

Richard C. Meyers, CEO of GlobalTrak, described how the sensors on an RSN add important cargo data for GlobalTrak’s customers, “Remote Sensor Nodes send reports and real-time alerts to any GlobalTrak AMU over a ZigBee protocol wireless network, allowing the data to be communicated to stakeholders. This is a flexible and convenient way of placing sensors where they need to be within a loaded container, truck trailer, or railcar.”

In a radiation monitoring application, the GlobalTrak AMU is mounted on the exterior of the container, truck trailer, or railcar with one or more RSNs equipped with the gamma detector positioned inside the load in best detection positions. The detectors have low and high alarm thresholds to accommodate varying levels of background radiation, such as might be encountered in an ocean transit versus a land route.

The same ZigBee wireless network that allows RSNs to report their status through the AMU can be used to enhance shipment security by monitoring the status of EJ Brooks’ electronic strap seals on individual packages within the shipment or bolt seals on the door of a container, truck trailer, or rail car.

Source: MarketWatch

Image: MaritimeInstituteOnline

Alanco to track D.C. inmates

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

prisonAlanco Technologies has announced that its subsidiary Alanco/TSI Prism, a provider of real-time RFID tracking technologies, has won a $3.3 million contract to create an RFID-based inmate tracking system for the Washington D.C. Department of Corrections.

The Alanco/TSI Prism system, which will combine Alanco’s TSI Prism RFID system with Wi-Fi compatible RTLS technology from AeroScout, will be installed at a Washington DC jail complex housing over 2,000 prisoners and staffed by 450 DOC employees. The system is intended to increase safety and improve inmate accountability.

Source: RFID News

HP offers RFID tracking service

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Hewlett-Packard has introduced a new service which enables clients to track their critical data center assets. The HP Factory Express RFID Service automates and tracks device movement, eliminating the need for employees to manually track inventory.

The HP tagging process scans factory-built HP components such as servers, storage devices and rack enclosures before they are incorporated into a client’s data center, and provides an accurate inventory of the assets throughout their life cycle. The service can provide real-time supply chain visibility, helping to reduce property loss, increase security and improve audit controls.

There are two levels of the service available. The HP RFID Factory Express Standard Service includes standard generation-two RFID tags affixed to specific HP products or packaging with a unique Electronic Product Code assignment and data tracking capabilities. The HP RFID Factory Express Custom Service allows for customized RFID tag placement and additional RFID services from HP that transmit RFID tracking information from the factory to the customer.

The HP Factory Express RFID Service is available directly through HP or its channel partners in the United States and Canada, or as part of HP Factory Express, a broader portfolio of integrated factory solutions and deployment services. HP plans to extend the service to customers worldwide over the next year.

Source: RFID News