Trimble Navigation Limited
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Trimble GPS Used in FAA Weather Radar System
- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is using Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) Global Positioning System (GPS) timing technology for its Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) system. The TDWR uses GPS as a reliable, stable and easy-to integrate time source.
Installed at 45 major airports across the U.S. that experience hazardous weather conditions, the TDWR system provides increased safety measures and improved runway/airfield management. The system detects and displays microbursts and gust fronts; it also predicts wind shifts and precipitation. The TDWR system provides graphic and text-based information to air traffic control; the system also provides hazardous weather alerts in the terminal area and provides advanced notice of changing wind conditions to permit the timely redirection of air traffic flow. The systems are being installed at sites in a wide range of climate conditions that vary from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Minneapolis and will operate continuously.
"Trimble GPS provides a consistent time source for all the weather products we provide," said Rajiv Gautam with the FAA. "Time is very important in terms of knowing when weather events occurred so that air traffic controllers can know how to interpret and deal with the weather information and predictions they receive. Those involved in directing our airways require accurate time: that's why we chose Trimble. We'll also use the GPS receiver to verify position information of the system at each site; it's an added benefit of the product for us."
A ubiquitous source of precision timing data, GPS satellites transmit signals using onboard atomic clocks for timing. Every GPS receiver provides the precision of an atomic clock for a fraction of the cost. Today, GPS timing plays a critical role in the expansion of wireless networks and global data communications. Along with weather radar systems, cellular companies, paging networks, investment banks and electrical utilities all use Trimble GPS receivers for precision timing.
"GPS as a source of precise timing is not as well known as the GPS location function," said Dennis L. Workman, vice president and general manager of Trimble's Component Technologies Division. "Timing is rapidly becoming a critical element for many industries, including wireless communication, computer networks, weather reporting and many others. As the need for precise timing grows, more and more users are turning to Trimble for GPS."
The FAA purchased Trimble synchronization kits. Trimble sells GPS timing and synchronization products, including the AcutimeTM 2000 Synchronization Kit. The Acutime 2000 provides a time and position source that includes a receiver, antenna, and power supply, all contained within the unit. Once the unit is powered up, the Acutime 2000 automatically tracks satellites and surveys its position to within meters. It then switches to overdetermined time mode and can generate a pulse-per-second-second (PPS) synchronized to UTC within 50 nanoseconds (one sigma). The unit outputs a timing packet for each pulse. The kit allows the user to easily access precise timing and synchronization for a wide variety of applications.
Trimble is a leading innovator of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. In addition to providing advanced GPS components, Trimble augments GPS with other positioning technologies as well as wireless communications and software to create complete customer solutions. Trimble's worldwide presence and unique capabilities position the Company for growth in emerging applications including surveying, automobile navigation, machine guidance, asset tracking, wireless platforms, and telecommunications infrastructure. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Trimble has more than 2,000 employees in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Media Contact: LeaAnn McNabb of Trimble: 408-481-7808