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A Novel Ground-Based GPS System from Locata

Locata Corporation has developed small ground based transmitters that help cars locate their position with high accuracy.

The devices in a way mimic what GPS satellite systems do by triangulating  position from multiple points. With GPS technology the devices use multiple satellite transmissions to pinpoint location whereas Locata will use a ground based network to do the same.

The technology involves installing a network of "LocataLites" in several locations in an area. These are small devices that are the size of a hardback book. They send out signals which the receivers can use to fix their position in the network.

Nunzio Gambale, one of Locata's two co-founders said that they would introduce a local constellation that works like the one in space. Only it was much cheaper and more accurate. LocataLites transmit signals using the same frequency as Wi-Fi, and they can each cover several kilometers.

The Locata technology is to be implemented at the U.S. Air Force's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, where an upgraded system will soon cover an area of 6,474 square kilometers. The Locata technology is already in use at the Boddington gold mine in Western Australia where it is used to position digging and drilling equipment with high accuracy.

Tracking goods and machines with high accuracy can enable greater use of robotics and automation, said Mr Gambale. Next month the company is to release information that will allow other companies to manufacture receivers, a move intended to see the technology added to devices that already use GPS signals.


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