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Do LocataNets transmit signals that can be deciphered by standard GPS receivers?

Thursday, 1 November 2012

LocataLites transmit signals that are proprietary, but which would look very familiar to engineers who have worked in GPS receiver design.  A “traditional” GPS receiver cannot, at this time, receive and decode Locata signals but that situation changed in September 2012 when Leica Geosystems launched the world’s first GPS+Locata combined receiver at the MINExpo Conference in Las Vegas in September 2012.

The two main reasons that standard GPS receivers cannot receive a Locate signal are:

  1. LocataNets do not transmit at the standard L1 GPS frequency (they transmit in the license-free 2.4 GHz frequency common to devices such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth).  Therefore, standard GPS receivers cannot use the Locata signal in the same way they use GPS signals; and
  2. Standard GPS receiver correlators have not yet been designed to receive Locata signals.

In Q3 2011 Locata released an Interface Control Document (ICD) that clearly describes the Locata signal structure.  Locata’s ICD is similar in approach to the legacy GPS ICD or the recently released Galileo receiver documentation.

Locata’s ICD allows GPS or radio receiver designers to incorporate Locata signals in their position solutions in the same way they use satellite-based signals today.