Technology

Satellite Navigation: The familiar blue dot could soon mark a better spot

Getting from point A to point B using your smartphone’s web mapping application with the familiar pulsing blue dot is part of our daily lives — thanks to satellite system receivers that use global positioning systems (GPS) to give location and time information. Positioning technology is evolving, and today a typical smartphone can pinpoint a person’s location within a few metres, which is adequate for most personal use. But for a future that includes autonomous driving, precision agriculture and natural disaster early warning systems, centimetre-level accuracy will be crucial.

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Separating Rare Earth Elements

Rare earth elements are used in manufacturing parts for a wide range of high-tech consumer products such as cell phones and computer hard drives. Natural Resources Canada scientist Tesfaye Negeri explains the processes he is developing to separate and isolate rare earth elements.

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