Leica Geosystems announced a new firmware release, Version 1.05, for the GS20 professional data mapper (PDM), featuring support for Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) and Hypertrak GPS tracking. Introduced in May 2003, the GS20 is the first GIS/GPS product to combine the accuracy of a sub-meter GIS mapping system, the ease of a handheld GPS receiver and the convenience of Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The addition of WAAS capability in the new firmware release permits GS20 users to get sub-meter accuracy in the field without the need for dedicated DGPS reference station networks. The Hypertrak capability provides extended GPS tracking even under extreme foliage cover and in urban canyons. Other new functions provided in Version 1.05 include additional NMEA output strings for outputting data to external devices, and a new capability for interfacing with the latest DISTO handheld laser rangefinder for gathering data from inaccessible locations.
The GS20 firmware 1.05 will be available to customers — at no charge — in August 2003.
Herndon/VA and Edwards AFB/CA, August 15th, 2003 – The ‘Team Spirit of Las Vegas’ decided for the u-blox sensor-based dead-reckoning board SBR-LS to guide their unmanned vehicle in the Grand DARPA challenge in 2004.
The DARPA Grand Challenge is a race of autonomous unmanned vehicles, starting in the vicinity of Los Angeles to the city of Las Vegas. The winning team will receive prize money in the amount of $1 million. The course is around three hundred miles of grueling on- and off-road
conditions against competing unmanned vehicles. The contenders will have to overcome desert like conditions, to include, but not limited to mountains, canyons, Joshua tree forests, boulders, ditches, and riverbeds, possibly dry and/or wet. On March 13th , 2004, DARPA, the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency, will kick off the competition as a way to stimulate the creation of new concepts for ground based unmanned vehicles.