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Topcon GNSS First to Add China's Compass Signal

Topcon Positioning Systems announced its engineers and scientists successfully tracked signals from the developing Chinese Compass satellite constellation.

LIVERMORE, CA -- Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS) is the first precise positioning company to announce its engineers and scientists successfully tracked signals from the developing Chinese Compass satellite constellation.

For more than seven years, TPS has manufactured and distributed dual-frequency, dual-constellation satellite receivers for global precise positioning markets. It also developed the world’s first GNSS technology that could pick up signals from GPS, GLONASS, the planned Galileo satellite system and now, the Compass signals.

“Topcon is always looking to the future and developing technologies and products that can increase customers’ productivity,” said Eduardo Falcon, senior vice president, development operations. "For more than seven years Topcon has successfully developed and manufactured GPS and GLONASS satellite receiver instruments."

Engineering the ability for its products to utilize the planned Compass satellite constellation is “simply the way Topcon does business . . . providing end-users technology and products even before they know they need them,” Falcon said.

The Chinese government said the Compass system is “designed for the country’s economic development, providing navigation and positioning services in transportation, meteorology, petroleum prospecting, forest fire monitoring, natural disaster forecasting, telecommunications and public security.”

The new system will be a constellation of 35 satellites, including five GEO (geostationary orbits) satellites and 30 MEO (medium Earth orbit) satellites that will offer complete coverage of the globe. Coupled with the U.S. GPS system, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo system, Compass will dramatically increase the total number of satellites available for positioning products.

Additionally, six new Russian GLONASS navigation satellites were launched this year, three in October and three on Christmas Day. This latest launch is part of the Russian program to increase the number of GLONASS navigation satellites to 24 by 2009.

These satellites will increase the reception capabilities of TPS receivers, giving users of Topcon precise positioning technology and instruments a competitive edge on job sites worldwide.

The use of multi-constellation signals increases the productivity of the systems by allowing operation in obstructed areas, virtually eliminating job site downtime due to weak or obstructed satellite reception.

Source: Topcon Positioning Systems, Dec. 28, 2007

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