June 2015 - GPSdancer at the IUGG conference in Prague

A poster presentation will be made on the subject of advantages of global GNSS network solutions over Precise Point Positioning solutions. This analysis was in fact performed in reaction to some discussions at the REFAG 2014 symposium in Luxembourg, when insufficient time was available to fully analyze the details.

Apart from that, a modest party is planned with some IAG people, in order to celibrate the creation of the GCCS after about six years of GPSdancer project.

May 2015 - Funding secured for Geodetic Cloud Computing Service

ESA Business Incubation Support has been granted for the creation of the Geodetic Cloud Computing Service, which will be the operational GPSdancer service in-the-cloud. Cloud computing is superior to computing at (e.g.) the local CORS computers in performance (notably, internet bandwidth) and internet security, and is in fact remarkably cheap. The target is to offer a GPSdancer cloud instance to any CORS station in the world for less than 1 US Dollar per day (around 300 Euros per year) - let's see if we can manage to reach that.

January 2015 - Application submitted to ESA Business Incubation Centre Darmstadt

It took a while to prepare but a formal application to the ESA BIC has finally been submitted. The proposal was presented before the Technical Evaluation Board in February, and seems to have been well-received. Fingers crossed. If the proposal is accepted by ESA, this will also secure additional funding from the Federal State of Hesse and some shareholders from industry.

October 2014 - REFAG 2014 conference in Luxembourg

As in 2010, a presentation will be held on GPSdancer, in particular focusing on the practical dpeloyment in the cloud, and foreseen funding schemes to achieve this. It is good to see that in four years time the project has gone from theoretical discussions on the solution method (REFAG 2010) to political and organisational discussions on how to install a GPSdancer-based on-line service.

August 2014 - upgrade to IERS 2010 conventions complete (...and tested)

The remaining elements of the IERS 2003 have now all been upgraded to the IERS 2010 conventions, and all unit tests are OK. As expected, no obvious differences are observed in the data residuals or orbit comparisons against IGS, but at least we can now state that GPSdancer is fully compliant with the latest IERS conventions. That is, until the next conventions are published, and we can start all over again.

April 2014 - phasing-out of JXTA is now complete

The GPSdancer peer-to-peer network was based on the existing JXTA protocol, developed originally by SUN and later continued mainly by Jérôme Verstrynghe. JXTA turned out to be difficult to learn and difficult to work with, which is why nobody seems to be sing it anymore. The required functionalities have been gradually replaced by native GPSdancer JAVA code, and now finally all remaining JXTA dependencies are gone. This also means that GPSdancer no longer has any third-party dependencies, not counting the Java Run-time Environment itself and its many service functions.

February 2014 - GPSdancer JAVAdoc pages are now on-line

The complete GPSdancer software has been documented with standard JAVAdoc comments, and the associated HTML pages are now routinely generated by the same makefile that compiles the code. So, we can always have up-to-date documentation for all classes, and on top of that some source code metrics are generated. See the "Software" tab on the main menu.

September 2013 - IAG 150 years Potsdam conference

Dancer will be present in Potsdam with on-site demos simlar to earlier conferences, and to answer any practical questions on the Dancer system. A presentation will be held on friday with the title "Accurate reference frame access at arbitrary point on Earth". By formal error analysis of PPP and DGPS techniques, the foreseen improvements of a cloud-computing scheme will be presented.

August 2013 - update of the website to JSN Epic Pro

Finally, the long-awaited update of the website is completed. The main reason why this  has been pending for about six months was a persistent database problem with the Joomla 2.5 template, that in the end nobody managed to solve. To settle the issue the entire site has simply been ported to a beautiful new Joomla! 3.0 template from JoomlaShine.

18 June 2013 - Formal proposal for cloud computing service

In order to launch multiple Dancer peers in (commercial) cloud computing capacity, we had to first create a bunch of accounts (one per station), then log in to one account at a time, install Java if it wasn't there yet, upload the latest version of the software and support files, and launch a Dancer process. These steps would have to be repeated ad nauseum for every process. For stopping a network test in the cloud, it was necessary to log in again to each separate process, and stop it - there is no way to bring down the Dancer network from one point (for the same reason why the Mars landers do not have an off-switch).

The entire process of starting a network would take a few hours, and the process of stopping it would take at least half an hour. This had to become more practical, because the time for running tests is limited, and currently most of that time goes into the mechanics of logging into and out of the cloud computing accounts.

The problems will be solved by means of a launch script (in the short term, and with administrator priviliges only), but it is clear that every operator of a few hundred GPS stations will face similar problems in the future. This lead to the idea of creating a web-portal, which forms a single-point-of-contact for launching multiple Dancer processes. The portal will distribute these jobs over multiple commercial cloud computing providers, passing the cost to the actual user. This counts as a commercial activity - trading cloud computing services - and cannot legally be done by the GGGF. Hence, a separate organisation is needed that has no dependency on the GGGF and does not exchange money or goods with the foundation. This new organisation is provisionally called the Geodetic Cloud Computing Service (GCCS). Details to follow.

14 April 2013 - News webpage open for business

This is the new news page, which plans to report - in blog-style - anything that may be relevant to the Dancer project. This is also a replacement for the developers mailing list, which is no longer used.


Project details

Ultimate Browsers SupportThe GPS Dancer project started in 2007 as a voluntary project of a working group of the International Association of Geodesy.

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Square dance algorithm

Great Docs and SupportThe GPS Dancer system was named after its "square dance" exchange algorithm. Of course, it also wants to to make the GPS reference frame denser.


Here, there be pirates

The Dancer on-line network became immune against internet connection problems by leaving the US marines, and becoming a pirate.

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