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New antenna boosts city navigation

by GPS4US 2013-09-25 15:53

Have you ever had your GPS unit go a bit crazy in an urban setting? It happens from time to time. However, a new antenna developed by the US Air Force is helping vehicles receive stronger navigation signals in the city.

The VRay antenna eliminates multipath interference, which is why many radio-based navigators can become glitch in city setting. During multipath interference, satellite signals reflect off buildings, confusing GPS.

The VRay, about the size of a basketball, can identify and eliminate multipath and other interference. According to Nunzio Gambale, CEO of Locata, the company that developed the technology with the Air Force, the antenna can scan for millions of virtual beams in just one second, according to Discovery.com

The concept of beam-steering for GPS is well known,” consultant David Last told New Scientist. “However, its use has been mainly confined to the military due to the high cost.”

 

The beam-forming antenna the VRay uses isn’t new, but previous editions have been too large for civilian use and included separate radio receivers for each element. The VRay has only one high-speed receiver that switches between elements, according to Discovery.com. 

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