Although the major thrust of the initial SCAN technology development process has concentrated on the aviation industry, other applications, just as important deserve a few lines of copy for the investigator. Remembering that SCAN successfully integrates all navigation, surveillance and cummunications needs into a single integrated package (conceived to replace radar and standard voice communications with satellite tracking and high-speed digital communications), one only needs to allow the mind to expand to see many additional benefits beyond those provided to aviation. For example:

While navigating across the ocean using SCAN, the pilot of the vessel is able to see all other craft within immediate vicinity. The first noticeable difference to conventional navigation methods is that all navigation is now referenced to True North with great precision rather than relying primarily on a magnetic compass with its many anomolies. No matter how inclement the weather--even in fog thicker than pea soup--every other marine vessel equipped with SCAN can be seen and identified by its own unique graphic "type" and identification symbol. Using GPS, any craft's position relative to your own is detectible to precisely one meter horizontal and 1.5 meters vertical. The rate and direction of motion of each craft is immediately apparent by viewing heading and relative speed vectors. SCAN also provides the ability to communicate digital or voice messages either globally or discreetly to other craft. This is done by either activating the SCAN data link optional message feature directly, or by accessing some other radio channel disclosed within the data stream message being transmitted by SCAN.

By using the same part of the radio spectrum as aircraft (but preferably on another channel), ships can now see aircraft, and aircraft ships. Thus, wide use of SCAN immediately establishes a global safety network, not only for conducting navigation and surveillance, but for announcing emergencies and conducting search and rescue operations. For aircraft needing to negotiate with ships, or land upon them, the relative positioning accuracy of GPS allows for precision approaches and landings without the need to correct the GPS DOD induced Selective Avalability (SA) error. How is this possible? As long as we know which satellites are being monitored by each target, we also know the relative positioning error.

Other benefits include access to differential GPS uplink stations (DGPS) when precision navigation through narrow passages or docking or manouvering with fixed land-based objects becomes essential. With access to weather uplinks from satellites or shore, or relayed through other vessels, real-time weather information is available at all times. Perpetual aviation and marine weather reports include detailed graphic satellite maps, typhoon and hurricane warnings, warnings of squalls, tidal waves and other storm warnings, movements of weather fronts, temperature, dewpoint, barometric altimeter settings, readings of wind direction and wind speed, current flows, water temperature, etc., and even the location of all marker buoys or oil platforms. Even complete maps or charts of shoreline, sandbars, coral reefs and other underwater obstructions can be delivered on request over the SCAN data link.

All these same features would also be available to fishing vessels wishing to locate their favorite fishing sites, exploration parties of the deep ocean floor, recreation sailing and fishing vessels on lakes or other small bodies of water. In the case of some unforseen accident, an immediate positive location fix and identification of the vessel or vessels involved is plus for safety.

SCAN is seen as a perfect land-based tool for managing delivery fleets, taxis, buses, trains, construction equipment, or for conducting land surveys, land exploration, or even tracking explorers, skiers, hikers, prisoners or animals. The only major difference between Land, Air and Marine applications would be in the choice of data link. Although transmission of postion information from automobiles could use the same general part of the radio spectrum as that allocated for air, marine and satellite use, a radio transmitter operating in a non-interfering mode with air and marine craft would be an absolute necessity. In cases of dire emergency, it would be convenient to communicate with a nearby ship or an aircraft flying overhead.

Land-based craft equipped with SCAN using the same radio system as aircraft and ships would have access to the same weather information as that being used by aircraft and sea-going vessels. By way of a separate channel dedicated to land craft, highway and city maps could be downloaded on demand, simplifying navigation and navigational routing. Roads under construction should be marked for planning and re-routing.

Land craft able to emit a signal, either through a dedicated radio or via telephone cellular service, should be programmed to permit easy notification of highway patrol, AAA or other rescue services.

There are broader radio data-link needs in the land-based applications of SCAN. Some may require special provisions for employing other discrete radio technologies and encryption coding. Examples include police, fire, border patrol, drug interdiction, military or other security uses. Construction equipment, trains, buses, taxis, towing companies and other fleets may benefit from SCAN technology by continuing to use dedicated UHF or VHF radio channels currently assigned.

Other applications of SCAN
Another unique application for land-based use of SCAN technology includes the tracking of individuals and animals. One of the most profound potential uses of SCAN applies to the tracking of prisoners under a work release management program. Today's high costs of incarceration impose a tremendous strain on society to maintain prisons. Since prisons are overcrowded beyond capacity, prisoners who are not thought to be a direct threat to society can be released under strict surveillance and tracked using a specially designed SCAN tracking device. Although several products are currently on the market, none could provide the level of coverage, security and capability as that being offered by SCAN.

Surveyors, hikers, exploration parties, mountain climbers and hunters would benefit from hand-held SCAN unit which would permit the transmitting and receiving of position reports and the ability for establishing communications.

A perfect example for the use of SCAN is the story reported several years ago of a group of cross-country skiers caught in a blinding snowstorm in the high Colorado mountains. Had they been using a SCAN unit, their location and emergency message could have been revealed immediately to helicopter pilots who spent days under the most adverse flying conditions trying to locate and rescue them. With SCAN, rescue time could be measured in minutes instead of hours, days, weeks, or sometimes, years.

Companies wishing to take advantage of the SCAN technology patent, radio frequency allocation, software or hardware development should notify me by submitting a comment in the EJF Home Page, or by sending a message by E-Mail to: edfraughton@earthlink.net

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