Locata To Play Big Role In NASA Drone Research
NASA plans to install Locata Corporation's Locata network (LocataNet) as the core positioning technology for safety-critical unmanned aerial systems (UAS) research at its world-renowned Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.
NASA Langley performs rigorous and repeatable scientific evaluations of new UAS safety and technology concepts currently under development. The LocataNet will provide the vitally important high-precision non-GPS-based positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) that is essential for this work.
“Locata is proud and delighted to have received an order for NASA’s first LocataNet,” says Nunzio Gambale, Locata CEO. “Globally significant installations like this prove Locata’s new technology is delivering unprecedented levels of performance to many important new applications. As our technology rollout begins to gain pace, the exceptional value Locata brings to next-gen mobile apps has attracted interest from players all over the world.”
The NASA LocataNet is scheduled to be installed and commissioned before the end of 2015. Locata will supply the LocataLite Transmitters and Locata Receivers required by NASA for the installation at Langley. Aviation-quality Locata antennas, developed by Cooper Antennas and previously used by the USAF in their pioneering military LocataNets, will also be installed. Locata engineers will support the physical installation, ongoing training and the future technical support required by NASA Langley for this world-first UAS deployment.
NASA Langley, established in 1917 by the U.S. National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, is the oldest of NASA's field centers and well known for its long history of aeronautics research. These days Langley’s prestige as a key center for American UAS research regularly attracts national coverage.
“Our team is savoring the opportunity to work alongside NASA engineers and we’re excited that Locata will help advance the safety-critical performance of Unmanned Aerial Systems,” Gambale says. “This NASA development is just one more example of an unstoppable technology wave now driving the automation and fully-autonomous control of next-gen systems. Almost all future mobile devices or machines — be they on the road, in the air, on a mine site, in a port, in a warehouse, in your mobile phone, or part of the inevitable internet of things — all of them are critically dependent on pervasive, reliable, high-accuracy positioning.”
Locata Corporation has invented new terrestrial positioning networks, which function as local, ground-based replicas of GPS. The networks can best be thought of as “GPS hotspots.” Locata has amassed 146 granted patents to date protecting these innovations, with many more patents in the works. Locata ships commercial systems to end users like the USAF, NASA, Leica Geosystems and many others. The corporation allows their integration partners — for the first time — to extend GPS-like positioning coverage to modern industrial, commercial, consumer and government applications in areas where GPS is erratic, jammed or unavailable.