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back to article Boffins ponder Galileo signals as ocean monitors

Private enterprise might not know how to make any money from it, but academics are already thinking of uses for it. Yes, it is the Galileo system, Europe's answer to GPS. Scientists at the University of Surrey, along with spin-out firm SSTL, have managed to detect the reflection of signals sent down from an orbiting prototype …

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So really...

It's not so much a use for Galileo as much as the combined signals of existing and future GPS satellite constellations...

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They've got a(l)ttitude

Well, Galileo is good for vertical navigation and should be quite accurate dimensionally in the geospatial location and vehicle navigation world, whilst giving a quick Time to fix (TTF). It is well worth proceeding onwards and upwards with this marvelous technology no matter what the cost in my opinion. Leaving vehicle navigation aside, there are a plethora of possible applications using sensors in addition to 'radar'. For instance,- if you had a floating sensor in your bath and subject to localised wireless networks, you could be remotely alerted if the water level was becoming too high thus possibly preventing serious overflow situations via your mobe or mobe.

Delivery drivers would use such accuracy to plot addresses whether on ground floor or any other floors and window cleaners would know in advance how long the ladder should be before setting off to clean Mrs Bloggs' windows on the fitfh floor, etc. Probably.

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Marine life that navigates by GPS?

How long do you reckon until such a thing evolves?

And then what of the ethical implications of switching GPS off...

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@Eileen Bach

>For instance,- if you had a floating sensor in your bath and subject to localised

>wireless networks, you could be remotely alerted if the water level was

>becoming too high thus possibly preventing serious overflow situations via your

>mobe or mobe.

...or you could just stick around and watch it. If your day is too busy to hang around and wait while you fill the bath so that it does not overflow, do the planet a favour and take a shower. You use less water and you dont have to wait for it to fill.

>Delivery drivers would use such accuracy to plot addresses whether on ground

>floor or any other floors.

Knowing the delivery is on the 15th floor would be of no advantage to a delivery driver as they would generally have to enter the building at round about ground level to get to the 15th floor anyway. They would not be able to drive directly to the 15th floor without it ending badly and besides the 15th floor of a building would generally be above all the other lower floors so upon arriving at the ground floor of a building you can be confident that upwards is the next direction that you travel. Besides it would usually say it on the package what floor the delivery is meant for so the driver would know simply by looking at the package. If it does not say which floor they generally leave it at reception.

>window cleaners would know in advance how long the ladder should be before

>setting off to clean Mrs Bloggs' windows on the fitfh floor, etc

I would guess, based upon my experience of being on the fifth floor of a building right now, that the answer would be a bloody long ladder and I am not, and never have been, a window cleaner. I suspect that upon hearing that the window to be cleaned is indeed on the fifth floor the window cleaner involved would intuitively know that the 8ft extending ladder strapped to the roof of his rusty old ford escort van illegally parked in the dissabled space by the door of Mrs Bloggs appartment block is not quite going to be up to the job. Further more I suspect that the window cleaners course of action in such a situation would more likely involve looking upwards, tutting and shaking his head while rolling his eyes as well as a cigarette rather than rushing to the van to fire up his laptop.

On the other hand if you are a skydiver with a morbid fear of heights and can not bear to look down while scudding through the atmosphere on a trajectory perpendicular to the rapidly approaching ground, knowing your relative vertical distance from said ground in real time so you know when to pull on the big metal ring you have been gripping since you exited the door of the aeroplane could be of some use to you.

Finally it is generally agreed that the use of the "M" word as an abreviation for "mobile phone" on El Reg carries the same punishment as using another "M" word for naming soft toys in Sudan. It is clearly stated in the guidelines and FAQs. You have no excuse, Even Amanfrommars wouldnt dare use such a word TWICE.

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Coat

Marine speeding tickets coming soon!

It's no great secret that the extra accuracy of Gallileo is needed for GPS speeding controls to be implemented for cars, but is Brown seriously considering slapping tickets on liners too!?!?!

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Stop

Altitude? Cobblers!

Funnily enough, my GPS seems to know how far it is above sea level at all times. Equally oddly it's not a Galileo one. Presumably it's got a crystal ball built in or something since this is a unique selling point for Galileo.......

If you really need to justify something that costs gobs 'n gobs, do try to come up with something that can't be done already for free.

Also, the first example given is just so daft it's unbelievable. Delivery driver turns up, gets into lift, consults GPS to work out how high up he needs to go. Oh dear, the GPS doesn't seem to get a signal inside this steel box encased in a concrete building. The guy in 15a doesn't get his smutty mags, civilisation falls and the world ends.........

But, wait a second, this address says "15a", I'll bet that this is on (drum roll) the 15th floor!!! The smutty mags CAN be delivered!!!!!! The world is saved!!!!!!!!!

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I don't know why people knock it

Why is it people find something fundamentally appalling about Europe having its own GPS system? Wouldn't it be appalling if we didn't have one? Sure we can continue to pay the US Government to borrow theirs year in year out and be told we could be disconnected should they choose, not that I'm suggesting they would, just that something so important shouldn't be left out. Europe has its own GPS for its people and its military, this is a good thing, not a bad thing.

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jai
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delivery drivers

you guys are missing the whole point about delivery drivers. they won't use the signal to "drive to the 15th floor"

they'll use it to work out how many stairs they'll have to climb in order to deliver the parcel, and then just leave a We Called And You Were Out card stuck under the ground floor door

or just loose the parcel at the sorting office and save all the time and effort involved in driving to the block of flats in the first place

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Interesting nonsense

It is really fun to see to what extent some people go to include high-tech stuff in places that can quite well do without. A delivery boy is going to go to the reception desk and drop off the parcel there and get someone from the company to sign the receipt. Delivery boys have no interest in knowing at what floor the recipient is - they have other parcels to deliver.

Same for the window cleaners. If it is a tall building, there is a great likelihood that there is a crane and nacelle available on the roof. If not, the professional will know soon enough whether his ladder is good for the job or not. He does not need a gadget to tell him that, and he most probably isn't interested in one that purports to tell him how to do his job.

The only piece of tech gear that is really useful on a global scale is the mobile phone. The one piece of high-tech gear useful for manual labor is the laser measurer for measuring distances in a house or hangar. GPS or Galileo-enabled kit is not going to be of any use to a carpenter, painter, or blacksmith - not beyond finding where their next workplace is.

In any case, what I really find interesting is the fact that satellite signals can be captured and reused after they have bounced off the Earth's surface. I wonder what use Tom Clancy could make of that ?

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Vetigo

Victims would be able to plot in advance their limit of extemities when delivering sofas in high buildings and could call upon extra help with the load bearing. Think about the vertical aspects of Galileo before rubbishing the potential. Alright, forget about the bath as an example: What about pylon cable collapse or resevoir levels. (I like the parachutist idea-that would be great to know when to pull the 'chute in fog for instance).

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All washed up

"you could be remotely alerted if the water level was becoming too high"

Right, but you might have to get out of the bath to answer the phone. And while you are doing that, the bath will overflow unnoticed.

However, theres possibly some merit. To work properly, people would have to move their baths into the front garden for a better view of the satellite signals. Which could be interesting (or not, depending on the person in the bath).

Hopefully it works both ways -- the satellite can zoom in on individual occupied baths, so that even if the people in your own locality aren't too attractive, you can find one somewhere else that is more interesting.

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Driving force

"They would not be able to drive directly to the 15th floor"

Why not?

Either use ramps, or a private helicopter, hover outside, throw goods through window.

Oops, the GPS didn't tell me it was closed.

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