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Seen & Heard: Driving fish, North Korean tests

February 14, 2022  - By

“Seen & Heard” is a monthly feature of GPS World magazine, traveling the world to capture interesting and unusual news stories involving the GNSS/PNT industry.


Scientists at Ben-Gurion University in Israel discovered goldfish are good drivers. An aquarium on wheels uses lidar, an onboard camera, and motion-detection software to track a fish in the tank. When it swims toward a side of the tank, the vehicle rolls in the same direction. Fish learned to navigate a small area to hit a target for a reward at least 15 times per half-hour, showing their sense of direction isn’t limited to a watery environment.

Photo: narvikk/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: narvikk/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images


North Korea’s recent missile tests are being guided by GLONASS rather than BeiDou, claims a source close to the Chinese military. In January, Pyongyang fired at least four short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off the coast of the Korean peninsula. North Korea also tested hypersonic missiles on Jan. 5 and 11. As reported by the South China Morning Post, the source said North Korea has been using GLONASS and has benefited from Soviet technology.

Photo: Prakhar Gupta/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: Prakhar Gupta/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images


The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will start using GNSS/3D automated machine guidance to construct highways. First up: the new Lucknow-Kanpur Expressway. Three machine-control systems will be integrated, guided by a computerized 3D model of the project. NHAI expects the technology to almost double the speed of highway construction, as well as provide stakeholders with mobile updates.

Photo: Tonga Meteorological Services, Government of Tonga

Photo: Tonga Meteorological Services, Government of Tonga


While imagery satellites captured the explosive Jan. 15 underwater volcanic eruption in Tonga, GNSS satellites also registered its effects. The energy released reached the ionosphere and was picked up by GNSS signals passing through it (see JPL’s findings). The eruption blanketed Tonga’s main island in ash and devastated its western coastline, affecting up to 80,000 people, according to news reports. It also caused damage to an underwater cable, resulting in a major communication outage. The tsunami that followed reached as far as Japan and the U.S. West Coast, and caused a massive oil spill off of Peru.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.