Since 2012, the mainstay of our product range has been the GPSR-1 repeater from Finnish manufacturer Roger GPS. We have sold hundreds of them, usually as part of a GPS repeater kit complete with an antenna, a coaxial cable and all the fixings.
It proved to be extremely reliable in a wide range of applications for those who need GPS L1 signals inside their premises.
If your networks or systems use Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), April 6th 2019 is probably a date worth marking in advance.
On, or possibly after, this date, some GPS receivers may start to behave strangely. The data they output may jump backwards in time, resulting in month and year timestamps that are potentially up to 20 years out of date.
This is a known issue; in April 2018 the Department of Homeland Security in the United States issued a memo to make GPS users aware of the situation. Any changes, adjustments, or other actions are ultimately the responsibility of the user, so DHS strongly recommends owners and operators of critical infrastructure to prepare for the rollover.
This refers to the GPS Week Rollover on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) derived from GPS devices.
Every day, vast amounts of cargo are transported around the world by land, sea and air.
One way to keep track of shipments as they make their way around the globe is by use of GPS-enabled tracking devices.
Knowing the exact location of a highly valuable consignment of prescription drugs, for example, would surely make any logistics professional sleep better at night.
A tracking device can be fitted to almost anything, in an open or a covert way.
While there are many, many available options and variations on a theme, there are essentially two types of trackers – passive and active.
Passive trackers use GPS location information to record their position (and possibly environmental data such as temperature and humidity) as it makes its journey.
The data is logged within the tracking unit itself and is stored in internal memory or on a memory card and can be downloaded at a later date for analysis on a computer.
Active trackers provide real-time location and environmental information to a central tracking portal. This data can be viewed by the owner of the cargo and/or the tracking company employed to carry out the monitoring on behalf of its clients.
When the shipment is delayed, for example by stormy weather at sea or by leaves on the railway line, the tracking data can be used to update clients with an accurate timeline.
So this isn’t exactly breaking news to those who have been in the asset tracking industry for some time. Even in the retail sector a lot of courier firms provide a link to an online tracking portal so that one can follow the progress of a parcel as it makes its way to the delivery address.
So, how does a GPS tracking device determine its position when it is under cover?
For example when it’s inside
The hold of a ship
A transport depot
A train station
An aircraft hangar
The issue is the same for all indoor locations where a container may spend a period of time during its journey
If there is no sky view the GPS signal can’t penetrate to the interior of the building
But that’s OK surely; the last time it had a live signal was just before it went into the building, so it must still be in there, right?
When the GPS tracking device loses sight of the sky due to the blocking effect of the building structure, it will continue to report its location periodically as it was just before it entered the building.
Not only would the tracking device be reporting stale, out-of-date location data, there may be a long acquisition delay (possibly several minutes) upon exit as the GPS receiver regains a positional fix.
USING A GPS REPEATER TO MAINTAIN SKY VIEW WHILE INDOORS
A GPS repeater relays live GPS signal from the outside of the building to the inside.
This ensures that sky view is available at all times and the GPS tracker will always be reporting accurate location information to the tracking portal.
An antenna is placed on the roof and a coaxial feeder cable transports the signal to an indoor GPS repeater unit.
The repeater re-radiates the signal inside the facility, providing live sky view to all GPS receivers in the vicinity.
SO A GPS TRACKING SYSTEM CAN WORK INDOORS, PROVIDING END-TO-END VISIBILITY OF CARGO
It’s reasonably easy to solve a potentially serious issue.
A GPS repeater kit comes with all that is required to provide signal in any indoor space.
For larger, more complex situations, a custom-designed system is created to fit the exact requirements based largely on the size of the building.
This web page illustrates the benefits of using a GPS repeater system in an asset-tracking environment.
FalTech GPS is a company specialized in GNSS (GPS) repeater technology, providing indoor coverage solutions that allow GPS-enabled devices to be operated, tested, repaired and calibrated inside any building or space where it was previously impossible.
Sectors that use this technology include blue light (fire and police), aircraft maintenance, commercial electronics facilities, offices and more.