Top Stories
Top Stories
Top news stories from Sensors & Systems online magazine.
KEYW Unveils Aeroptic Aerial Mapping System at National Guard Conference

The KEYW Holding Corporation’s (NASDAQ: KEYW) subsidiary, KEYW Corporation, will formally unveil the Aeroptic Mapping System August 22-25 at the 2014 National Guard Association (NGAUS) Conference & Exhibition in Chicago. With a 10-year legacy of mapping around the globe, Aeroptic is a fully integrated airborne solution that provides high-resolution, wide-area map data for both civilian and military applications.

NASA Discusses Global Hawk UAVs Used for Earth Observation at UAS 2014

NASA uses their Global Hawk UAVs for environmental monitoring missions like keeping track of hurricanes, among other things. The UAVs have relatively long range and endurance and can only stay in the air for about a day (28 hours) at a stretch.

UBC Student Uses Satellite Data for Elephant Conservation Effort

UBC PhD candidate Jake Wall has adapted satellite tracking technology to help protect endangered African elephants. Wall’s research looks into elephant needs of food, space, connectivity with the environment, security and water. According to Wall, his research, and that of the Save the Elephants organization which he works with in Kenya “focuses on the movement ecology of elephants — their spatial distribution, range and habitat.”

Arianespace and ESA Sign a Contract for Galileo Constellation Launch Services

Arianespace and the European Space Agency (ESA), acting on behalf of the European Commission, convened at the Guiana Space Center, European spaceport, to sign a contract for three launch services with Ariane 5 ES in order to step up the deployment of the European navigation system Galileo, the European Union’s flagship program.

OceanWise Agrees Distribution Arrangements with GPS Geofisica y Posicionamiento Satelital, C.A.

OceanWise is pleased to announce the appointment of GPS, Geofisica y Posicionamiento Satelital, C.A., as a distributor of its range of oceanographic software and services. The deal combines GPS instrumentation and equipment supplier capability with OceanWise’s data telemetry, storage and publishing software and services, as well as its expertise in system design and integration, data management, analysis and reporting.

CycloMedia Selected by CIO Review for 20 Most Promising GIS Companies

CIO Review selected CycloMedia for its 20 Most Promising GIS Companies in July – article currently published in CIO Review Magazine as well as online. The positioning is based on evaluation of CycloMedia’s specialties in Cycloramas, GlobeSpotter Cloud or Server, GlobeSpotter, and GlobeSpotter API. The annual list of companies is selected by a panel of experts and members of CIO Review’s editorial board to recognize and promote technology entrepreneurship.

FarmLink Closes $40 Million Equity Round

FarmLink, a Kansas City, Mo. - based company that provides a suite of innovative services to help farmers maximize their productivity, today announced the closing of a $40 million Series B financing. OpenAir Equity Partners is leading the investors, which al so includes existing investors Thorndale Farm, LLC, private investors Don Walsworth and John Rose, and new investor Early Investments.

ESA and CNES Experts Ready for Galileo's First Orbits

Lift-off for Galileo satellites 5 and 6 is set for Thursday, 21 August, at 12:31 GMT (14:31 CEST) on a Soyuz rocket from the Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana. Just 9 minutes and 23 seconds later, the Fregat upper stage carrying the payload will separate from the Soyuz third stage, and conduct a pair of engine burns separated by an approximately three-hour ballistic coast phase.

The CryoSat Mission Monitors and Maps Ice Sheet Change in Greenland and Antarctica

Measurements from ESA’s CryoSat mission have been used to map the height of the huge ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica and show how they are changing. New results reveal combined ice volume loss at an unprecedented rate of 500 cubic kilometres a year.

USGS Helps Assess Water Resources in Afghanistan

For the past decade, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey have shared their expertise with the Afghanistan Geological Survey (AGS) in efforts to build an inventory of Afghanistan’s water resources. A new fact sheet details how these efforts help the country quantify and monitor its water resource.

USDA Invests New Conservation Funds to Improve Lake Erie Water Quality

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that $2 million in conservation funds will be sent to Ohio to help implement conservation techniques that will help improve water quality. The Secretary said USDA is also partnering with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to expand "boots-on-the-ground" capacity in the area and will be contributing an additional $1 million in technical assistance which will in turn be leveraged by the NFWF along with other public and private entities. Earlier this month, water service in Toledo, Ohio was disrupted by algae blooms in Lake Erie.

Michael Halbherr to Step Down as CEO of HERE and as a Member of the Nokia Group Leadership Team

Nokia today announced that Michael Halbherr has decided to step down as CEO of HERE and as a member of the Nokia Group Leadership Team, effective September 1, 2014, in order to pursue his own entrepreneurial interests outside of the company.  

New Flock of Mini Satellites Launched From Station

In the Japanese Kibo module, Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst supported the robotics ground team for the deployment of a new series of NanoRacks CubeSat miniature satellites.  Gerst operated the Japanese Experiment Module’s airlock and slide table as the Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform containing the CubeSat deployer mechanism was passed outside the station and grappled by the Japanese robotic arm.

East View Geospatial Receives DigitalGlobe's 2013-2014 Best Deal of the Year Award

East View Geospatial (EVG), a leading provider of authoritative maps and geospatial data products from around the world, was the recipient of DigitalGlobe's 2013-2014 Best Deal of the Year Award.

Topcon Announces Partnership with MAVinci for Worldwide UAS Distribution

Topcon Positioning Group has entered into a worldwide distribution partnership agreement with Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) provider MAVinci GmbH. As the result of the partnership — Sirius — a fixed-wing UAS series guided with Topcon GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) positioning and powered by MAVinci technology will be available globally.

PCI Geomatics to Host International Reseller and Business Partner Meeting, October 20-23, 2014

PCI Geomatics, a world leading developer of remote sensing and photogrammetric software and systems, will be hosting its annual International Reseller and Business Partner Meeting in the Toronto region from October 20-23, 2014 – preparation for the meeting has been underway since early in 2014.

Renewal of Intergraph’s ISO 9001:2008 Certification

Intergraph UK is proud to announce - continuing in their commitment to excellence - the renewal of the ISO 9001:2008 certification. This renewal is valid until 12 August 2017, and has been issued by Certification International (UK) Ltd. Intergraph UK first achieved ISO 9001 on 10th August 1993 and has continued its commitment with this latest renewal, previous transitions include certification to the ISO9001:2000 standard February 2002 with accreditation to ISO9001:2008 achieved in May 2009.

Award Winning Author to Keynote Geospatial & Engineering International Conference

The wrong first impression with a potential client can dissolve a business opportunity before it begins. How do you avoid making the wrong first impression? Terri Morrison, author of the best-selling book, Kiss Bow or Shake Hands®: The Best Selling Guide to Doing Business in More Than Sixty Countries, will provide the luncheon keynote address during the Geospatial & Engineering International Conference September 25-26, 2014 at the Westin Hotel in Alexandria, VA.

Harris Corporation Installs First Phase of High-speed Weather Product Generation System for GOES-R Series Satellites

Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) has installed and integrated the initial weather product applications onto the previously delivered ground segment hardware for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite — R (GOES-R) Series program.  This major upgrade provides the core weather product generation and distribution capabilities vital for improved accuracy in weather forecasting.  The team has also demonstrated transfer of these products to the NOAA National Weather Service’s (NWS) Advanced Weather Information Processing System.

Gamification of GIS Offers Career Boost for Geospatial Professionals

Gamification offers a career boost for geospatial professionals as the desire to create more realistic virtual worlds is requiring the application of geographic information systems (GIS). The gaming industry is relying on GIS for real-world datasets, which increases the need for trained GIS professionals.

Canada Invests in Innovative Mapping System for Global Surface Water Survey

Canada, through the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), is investing in Canadian innovation that will play a key role in the first-ever global survey of surface water. The Georgetown-based manufacturer, Communications and Power Industries Canada Inc. (CPI Canada), will receive $3.3 million to develop the Extended Interaction Klystron (EIK), a satellite radar component that will generate pulses used to gather surface information. This investment will support local high-technology jobs and economic growth while the resulting information could help Canada more efficiently manage water resources, prepare for potential flooding, and help avoid costly damage from flooding or drought.

Peruvian Satellite Tossed by Hand from the International Space Station

The Peruvian nanosatellite Chasqui-1 was tossed by hand by Russian astronauts from the International Space Station today. The two Expedition 40 spacewalkers, clad in Russian Orlan spacesuits, wrapped up a 5-hour, 11-minute excursion outside the International Space Station at 3:13 p.m. EDT Monday.  Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev deployed a small science satellite, retrieved and installed experiment packages and inspected components on the exterior of the orbital laboratory.

New Satellite Data Will Help Farmers Facing Drought

About 60 percent of California is experiencing "exceptional drought," the U.S. Drought Monitor's most dire classification. The agency issued the same warning to Texas and the southeastern United States in 2012. California's last two winters have been among the driest since records began in 1879. Without enough water in the soil, seeds can't sprout roots, leaves can't perform photosynthesis, and agriculture can't be sustained.

Research Explores Climate Change and Changing Land Use

As climate change alters habitats for birds and bees and everything in between, so too does the way humans decide to use land. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Aarhus University in Denmark have, for the first time, found a way to determine the potential combined impacts of both climate and land-use change on plants, animals and ecosystems across the country.

Kratos' RT Logic Selected by Idaho National Laboratory to Demonstrate Common Data Link Capabilities for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq:KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today that its RT Logic subsidiary has been selected by Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to demonstrate a ground breaking Common Data Link (CDL) waveform intended for use on Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS). In operation since 1949, INL is a science-based applied engineering national laboratory dedicated to supporting the U.S. Department of Energy's missions in nuclear and energy research, science and national defense.

Cuyama Valley Groundwater Withdrawals Are Double The Long-Term Replenishment

Groundwater is the sole source for agricultural, domestic and municipal water use in California’s Cuyama Valley, located primarily in Santa Barbara County. In most areas, groundwater is being depleted faster than it naturally recharges. A new water availability report from the U.S. Geological Survey investigates groundwater conditions in the Cuyama Valley.

“The findings provide a better understanding of the use and movement of water in the valley, as well as the quality and quantity of groundwater used in the Cuyama Valley Basin,” said Randall Hanson, research hydrologist and lead author of the new report.

According to the study, an estimated 2.1 million acre-feet of groundwater have been removed from storage in the Cuyama Valley aquifer system since 1949. One acre-foot is approximately 325,000 gallons or enough to cover one acre of land with one foot of water. The study found that groundwater pumping for irrigated agriculture accounts for almost all groundwater withdrawals in the region. The total average annual pumpage of groundwater in the Cuyama Valley aquifers system from water years 1950-2010 was about twice the average estimated long-term annual recharge rate.

During the course of the five-year study, conducted in cooperation with the Santa Barbara County Water Agency, USGS scientists discovered that the geologic structure of the valley is composed of three groups of subregions in the valley – The Main zone, the Sierra Madre Foothills, and the Ventucopa Uplands; each with distinct geologic, hydrologic, and water-quality characteristics. This is important because groundwater withdrawals as well as natural and human-caused recharge affect each sub-basin differently. In the Main zone sub-basin which comprises about a third of the modeled groundwater basin, groundwater pumping for irrigation exceeds the natural replenishment rate, thus depleting groundwater storage, degrading water quality, and potentially leading to the onset of land subsidence. 

Since 2000, groundwater pumping has led to land subsidence of up to 0.2 feet. Model analyses of historical conditions indicate that 1.6 feet of subsidence has occurred near the town of New Cuyama since the onset of development in the 1940s, coincident with the groundwater declines in the Main zone. An additional foot of permanent subsidence is projected in the Main zone through 2071 if current demand and replenishment rates continue.

In addition to extensive data collection, the USGS developed hydrologic models of Cuyama Valley to analyze water availability, account for changing water supply and demand, and simulate surface water and groundwater flow across the entire valley. These models can be used to address issues related to water resource sustainability, including the effects of changing land-use patterns and a changing climate on water resources. The models can also incorporate how changes in water supply and demand will affect water quality and land subsidence.  

The new water availability report and related summary fact sheet are available on-line. A complete list of USGS publications related to Cuyama Valley studies can be found here on the project website.

A complete list of USGS publications related to the Cuyama Valley study is provided below:

Hertz and Navigation Solutions Launch NeverLost Travel App

Hertz (NYSE:HTZ) and Navigation Solutions today announced the launch of Hertz NeverLost Companion, the first-of-its-kind travel destination app among major car rental companies.  NeverLost GPS Companion facilitates integrated trip planning and navigation,  giving travelers the ability to browse millions of U.S. destinations and plan trips on their mobile devices, then directly sync with the in-car Hertz NeverLost GPS system.  The interactive app goes far beyond navigation, including events, local weather, Augmented Reality, social media sharing and much more.

“At Hertz, we innovate with customer-friendly technology to enhance the rental experience, which is exactly what the new Hertz NeverLost® GPS Companion app offers,” said Mark P. Frissora, Hertz Chairman and CEO. “Whether searching for restaurants, hotels, gas stations or local events, the app provides users with access to more than 10 million destinations in the U.S.   We are putting our advanced technology in travelers’ hands to create even more exciting, memorable trips.”
Hertz NeverLost® Companion is available for free download via iTunes and Google Play. Companion provides the ease of planning travel via mobile device by viewing and selecting from thousands of destinations organized into detailed city guides, all before sitting in the Hertz driver’s seat.

Features of the NeverLost® Companion app include:

“We’re very excited to introduce the new NeverLost Companion app to Hertz customers and travelers everywhere,” said Graham Weedon, Navigation Solutions Director of Public Relations and Communications.

“In developing this app, we wanted to give travelers a simple, mobile way to research, explore and plan trips. Companion grew to be a personalized trip planner and more, inevitably becoming a game-changer among current navigational apps. We look forward to travelers experiencing Companion first-hand.”

To learn more about the new Hertz NeverLost® Companion app, visit

INTERGEO Conference: Learn About Tomorrow's World Today

Experts from the fields of geodesy, geoinformation and land management will meet at INTERGEO in Berlin from 7 - 9 October. The leading trade fair’s 20th anniversary event will be hosting numerous lectures, forums and discussions of national and international importance on hot topics and future developments.

New Research Reconstructs Solar Activity During the Last Ice Age

A new study from Lund University in Sweden has, for the first time, reconstructed solar activity during the last ice age. The study shows that the regional climate is influenced by the sun and offers opportunities to better predict future climate conditions in certain regions.

New Jersey Announces Climate Change Mapping Website

Rutgers scientists and data managers announced a new climate change mapping website for New Jersey this week. contains interactive maps that allow community planners to see how infrastructure, population and the environment are vulnerable to storm surges, coastal flooding, and sea level rise.