SkyBitz launches alternative to GPS

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SkyBitz announced the launch of its Global Locating System (GLS) tracking and monitoring service. The system is based not on the Global Positioning System (GPS) but on technology patented by SkyBitz and developed through funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

One major difference between GLS and GPS is that with GLS, positioning calculations are performed centrally. With GPS, positioning applications are performed within the chip located in the mobile tracking equipment. That difference means that GLS offers major improvements in cost and power consumption, SkyBitz says. The mobile terminal operates for several years – approximately 5 years at 2 reports per day – on its internal primary “AA” battery pack.

Initially, Skybitz is focusing on trailer-tracking applications. Skybitz’s service package includes position location as well as data communication capabilities. The network integrates four components: the mobile terminal mounted to the asset; a satellite communications network; a secure Service Operations Center; and information delivery via the Internet or telephone. Asset data can be accessed from a desktop computer or from anywhere in the world via the Internet.

The secure SkyBitz website offers a Java-based map with zoom, pan and many advanced features. It also offers tabular data displays; sensor and terminal status; report scheduling; and the ability to customize data.