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(Daily Mail)   Luggage with built-in GPS locator offers challenge to airlines who constantly lose your luggage. Delta smiles thinly and cracks their knuckles   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 118
    More: Interesting, GPS tracker, GPS, airlines, luggage  
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9200 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Jun 2013 at 2:30 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-14 07:30:50 PM

imgod2u: That's not ideal but it's a small enough search radius to know your strap on didn't end up in Kansas.


+1

/carry on...
 
2013-06-14 08:17:05 PM

JuggleGeek: I notice there isn't any kind of price estimate.  That usually means "If you have to ask, you can't afford it".



Man, I havent had a good ZJ in awhile..
 
2013-06-14 08:27:25 PM

threadjackistan: I'm not sure how gps works, range or angle, but if its range(checking the distances in time signal to determine relative distance) and you knew you were on the ground and roughly where you were, the because the potential location of yourself would roughly be a circle from two of the satelites, couldn't you narrow down your location to just two fairly separate points? Again, assuming you were on the ground and had a good DEM.


You're looking at it in a 2D world--that's what you would get if you had two lighthouses honking by a clock and listened to how far away each of them were.  A ship knows the Z and the second point is going to be inland, you have a solution.

However, GPS has to work in a 3D world.  I believe that when you are a variable short in solving such a system of equations you get a line.  That's not going to be too useful.

There's also another problem here--listening to that lighthouse means you must be carrying a clock.  It honked at :00 and you heard it at :04, you knew you were 4 sound-seconds from that lighthouse.  Any *good* clock will suffice as a millisecond error is only about 1 foot.

With GPS, however, the signals are traveling near lightspeed.  (It would be at lightspeed if there were no atmosphere.  The difference matters.)  A millisecond error is 186 miles.  Even a microsecond error is still a thousand feet.  Thus civilian GPS requires an accuracy of say 20 nanoseconds.  Think you can pack a clock of that accuracy in your receiver?  And keep it accurate even when your batteries run out?

Since knowing the time isn't an option you have to calculate it.  We now have four unknowns and that requires four values to figure it out.  Thus you must have a lock on four satellites.  My geometry is rusty but I think one variable short in this case defines a curved surface, not merely a line.  Even less useless than the line.

Note, also, that even with the 4 satellites you still have two possible solutions.  You choose the one on the planet, the other somewhere up near geosync orbit.

Ivo Shandor: GPS devices have an almanac telling them approximately where the satellites are going to be in the sky at any given time. You can see that map regardless of whether or not you're receiving a signal from any of the satellites.


Just a FYI on this--knowing approximately where you are greatly cuts down on the computation needed to lock onto the satellites.
 
Xoc
2013-06-14 08:28:11 PM
How about a quiz: How many people have actually lost a bag and never had it returned to them? I'm sure it's a very small number. In a million miles of flying, I've had bags not make the flight with me, usually because of tight connections. Once or twice it's taken a day or two to catch up with me. But I've never had one permanently lost.
 
2013-06-14 08:29:46 PM
So if they can track it, this is not passive GPS the bag is transmitting.  Won't the FAA have something to say about that?  Especially with cargo holds of planes full of little boxes transmitting their locations all the time?  What is the luggage transmitting to? cell tower?  satellite?  Will you need a cellphone plan for your luggage?  Also, how long does the battery life last?  Is it rechargeable?
 
2013-06-14 08:32:42 PM
Until this year, I've flown a few times a year for decades and never had a bag lost.

/go ahead, hate me now
 
2013-06-14 09:41:20 PM

imgod2u: StopLurkListen: GPS needs a line-of-sight to the satellite, so unless they drop your luggage off in a field ... good luck

To get a lock with a ~5 ft radius, yes. But even indoors you can get enough signal to put you within a 100ft or so radius. That's not ideal but it's a small enough search radius to know your strap on didn't end up in Kansas.


No, just some can/ass
 
2013-06-14 09:43:44 PM
FTFA:Once on board a plane, a passenger can use a smartphone app to check that their bag is in the hold and alert flight crew if it's not there.

So, what the hell is the SkyNanny going to do about it while in flight?  They can't call operations, and they're not going to ask the pilots to contact baggage handlers through their company's radio.  All this will do is increase your anxiety on your flight knowing you're hurtling in a metal tube for hours knowing your bag isn't in the cargo hold and you know it's going to be a long night for you.


FTFA: At the same time, the passenger can keep track of the bag with the help of a mobile phone application.

Again, tits on a bull.  Congratulations, you now know you're in New York and your bag is in Tokyo.  So what?  It's not going to help get the bag faster, you're at the complete mercy of the airlines.


FTFA:The app has a number of functions, including alerting a passenger if somebody tries to tamper with the bag.

Hey Delta, one of your baggage handlers opened up my bag.
Delta: Nuh uh, it was the TSA.
TSA: Yeah, so?

Frequent fliers seldom check bags, and I doubt someone who flies once every couple of years is going to spend beaucoup bucks for this.
 
2013-06-14 10:10:22 PM

threadjackistan: Loren: MindStalker: Airlines will sometimes purposefully put your luggage on a different flight than you are (its rare, but it happens), as long as its going to arrive before/when you get to your destination. I'd hate to be the airline that did this only to hear the passenger yell and scream that they put their luggage on the wrong flight!!!

It's happened to me more than once.  The airline puts the bag on the earlier flight that still had luggage space.  I still had to ride the later plane that actually had a seat.

Walker: Well it wasn't THAT small a plane. Was a CRJ-700. 66 seats. IAD to San Antonio. Someone even came on the plane and asked people to give up their seats, even though the plane had tons of empty seats. We thought that was weird, since they didn't mention they were doing it to lighten the load. I especially wasn't pleased since my suitcase was the tiny kind you can fit in the overhead bin. While I was waiting for mine huge suitcases were appearing on the baggage carousel. Wonder how they decide who's gets removed.

It happens.  Around here it's been known to happen even on the big birds.  Planes fly by indicated air speed but planes take off and land by ground speed.  The warmer it is the thinner the air and thus the lower the indicated speed for any given ground speed.  The roll gets longer.  Eventually the roll gets too long and they have to lighten the load to bring it back down.

Thus you get passengers removed from the plane due to weather when they're looking out at a bright, sunny day.  (And this will be treated as a weather event--no compensation.)

devildog123: Not necessarily. I sit on the 1st floor of a 3 story building. There are at least 3 walls between me and outside. I put my phone in Airplane mode, turned on the GPS and fired up my GPS tester. I can see 21 satellites.

I can't connect to any, of course but then I don't have any kind of antenna nor is my phone a GPS device first.

I'm a pilot. With a GPS in a Cessna at 7,000 feet, with nothing to obstruct at all, I can't get that many satellites to lock on.

Nothing?  What were you 7,000' above in the first place?  That thing down there is what was blocking the rest of the constellation.

Walker: I just downloaded the app and fired it up. It says 21 in view and 2 in use. Wait, 19 in view 5 in use, now 4, this thing changes a lot. It's almost like the Earth is spinning or something.

GPS is completely useless unless you have at least 3 satellites in use and that's only useful if you can supply one coordinate of your location already (ie, a ship at sea.  The z coordinate is the height above the water of the antenna.)  Normal use requires 4 satellites as you are solving for 4 unknowns (latitude, longitude, altitude and time.)

I'm not sure how gps works, range or angle, but if its range(checking the distances in time signal to determine relative distance) and you knew you were on the ground and roughly where you were, the because the potential location of yourself would roughly be a circle from two of the satelites, couldn't you narrow down your location to just two fairly separate points? Again, assuming you were on the ground and had a good DEM.


Funny you should ask! I do know.

It's based on a complex transform. Every few milleseconds the satellite burps out "hey, the time is T and I am at X,Y,Z".

Because we know the speed of light, and the effects of both special and general relativity on time dilation, with 4 packets from 4 different satellites you can extrapolate the T, X, Y, Z for your own location.

The tricky part is keeping the time on all of the satellites in sync with the ground. They are traveling at a high rate of speed wrt the ground, which slows time down. At the same time they are in a lower density region of the Earth's gravitational field, which speeds time up.

And the final figure needed to tweak the atomic clocks in orbit confirmed Einstein's predictions perfectly, btw
 
2013-06-14 10:21:43 PM
Alaska has never lost my bags, per se... but my golf clubs did make an unexpected overnight stay in Kalispell, MT once. No idea why the hell they sent them there when I was flying from Palm Springs to Seattle to Moscow, ID, but eh. Got a free upgrade on my next flight and we made them throw the clubs in a taxi and bring them to our house so we didn't have to drive back down to SeaTac, attempt to find a spot, and figure out where they were in the airport. I'll always pick an Alaska flight over any other carrier, even if it is a bit more expensive.

AND, if you fly Horizon (their subsidiary for smaller markets), they still serve free beer and wine! Nothing like someone offering you beer on your 9am flight.
 
2013-06-14 10:28:37 PM

Urinal Cake Mix: Alaska has never lost my bags, per se... but my golf clubs did make an unexpected overnight stay in Kalispell, MT once. No idea why the hell they sent them there when I was flying from Palm Springs to Seattle to Moscow, ID, but eh. Got a free upgrade on my next flight and we made them throw the clubs in a taxi and bring them to our house so we didn't have to drive back down to SeaTac, attempt to find a spot, and figure out where they were in the airport. I'll always pick an Alaska flight over any other carrier, even if it is a bit more expensive.

AND, if you fly Horizon (their subsidiary for smaller markets), they still serve free beer and wine! Nothing like someone offering you beer on your 9am flight.


And by SeaTac, I meant the great Pullman-Moscow airport. Derp.
 
2013-06-14 10:57:32 PM
American Airlines is so bad, they lost my carry-on
 
2013-06-14 11:32:35 PM

StopLurkListen: GPS needs a line-of-sight to the satellite, so unless they drop your luggage off in a field ... good luck


Not 100% correct, We now able to get good data from reflections in buildings and with some server bases assisted GPS
even the broken up time codes are useful
 
2013-06-15 12:10:58 AM

limeyfellow: YoOjo: Civilization is getting worse!! I don't remember the ancient Romans having this problem.

So if they lose our luggage we get to crucify them? I'm OK with this.


Holy shiat, THIS.  Air Canada.  On a regular basis.  It's to the point I'll leave at 6-farking-30 in the morning on WestJet to avoid the Air Canada flight that leaves at 10:00.  I'd gladly play Pontius Pilate to limeyfellow's Caiaphas.
 
2013-06-15 12:38:02 AM

Befuddled: GPS receivers are one of the things banned from use throughout the whole flight, so how is GPS enabled luggage going to be okay to use?


Why would a receiver of any sort be banned on a flight? It's the transmissions that people worried about. A receiver is just picking up a signal that is already present.
 
2013-06-15 05:57:07 AM
I know I am way late to this thread but I had to catch up on sleep... here is my solution to lost baggage:

www.etsu.edu
 
2013-06-15 08:56:41 AM

megarian: Some luggage guy in Mexico City stole 2 liters of tequila and underwear from my bag. They proceeded to ship my bag to Maui.

So my luggage has been to Maui and I haven't. Assholes.


Well what did you expect? You infuse underwear with 2 liters of tequila, the handler puts said underwear on head and before long can't tell where your luggage is supposed to go.  You have to take SOME responsibility here.
 
2013-06-15 05:42:43 PM
Technology. First it ruins prank phone calls and now this.
 
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