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Seen & Heard: Singapore crashes, BeiDou’s supersonic flight

September 1, 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.


Photo: tropicalpixsingapore/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: tropicalpixsingapore/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

3D Maps Solve Accidents

3D mapping is helping forensic teams reconstruct fatal traffic accidents in Singapore, reports The Straits Times. In 2021, Singapore had 100 fatal road accidents. Experts use 3D replicas of the accident site and simulation models to recreate events leading to an accident and its aftermath. This helps forensic scientists determine whether the vehicles were speeding or flouting traffic rules. The National 3D Mapping Program of the Singapore Land Authority has mapped every road, lane and highway in Singapore with a 3D laser scanner and car-mounted cameras, and plans to update the maps regularly. Autonomous vehicles will also depend on the 3D point-cloud data.


Diagram: U.S. General Accountability Office

Diagram: U.S. General Accountability Office

BeiDou Enables Hypersonic Flight

In simulation drills using BeiDou, Chinese space scientists flew a hypersonic flight from Jinan, China, to New York over the Arctic Ocean, reports EurAsian Times. BeiDou facilitated contact between the command center on Earth and the hypersonic vehicle as it dodged enemy air defenses. Researchers claim using BeiDou provided a time lag of less than a second. They also claim to have optimized signal transmitters and designed new satellite-jumping methods to overcome communication challenges. China and Russia are the only countries with operational hypersonic weapons — Russia has used its Kinzhal hypersonic missile in the Ukraine war.


Photo: adiartana/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: adiartana/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Drone Mapping Aids Education

Indonesia’s National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) and Dr. Soetomo University are cooperating on aerial photo mapping using an unmanned aerial vehicle and GNSS hardware. BRIN’s Ocky Karna Radjasa said he expects that the two parties will extend the opportunity to advance research and innovation as well as bolster the quality of education in Indonesia. The university’s Nur Saidah expects BRIN’s support will increase, stating, “We still have limitation in laboratory facilities, so we seek industry cooperation. Let us hope that, as a result of this cooperation, we can receive help.”


Photo: JacobH/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: JacobH/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Navigating with Muons

A new navigation system addresses shortcomings of GNSS using cosmic-ray muons. Muometric navigation enables positioning underground, indoors or underwater within a reference coordinate system defined by the 3D positions of multiple detectors, researcher Hiroyuki K. M. Tanaka explains in the June issue of Nature. Tanaka’s work shows the system offers a navigation quality almost equivalent to aboveground GPS-based handheld navigation by determining the distance between the reference frame and the receivers with a precision of 1 to 10 meters.

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.