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GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM USED TO TRACK OIL SPILLS

 HOUSTON, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- At the Petro Safe '94 trade show today, Trimble Navigation (NASDAQ: TRMB) and Orion Electronics announced a satellite-aided oil spill tracking buoy that reports its precise location in real time, 24 hours a day. Named Slik-trak GPS, the new buoy will allow oil spill response teams to easily and accurately track spills in both darkness and bad weather. Previously, such conditions had forced spill response teams to find their buoys with helicopters and boats, thus diverting them from other critical tasks and incurring enormous expense. Trimble demonstrated Slik-trak on Dec. 13 in Alaska's Cook Inlet. The demonstration was observed by members of several oil spill response cooperatives. According to their reports, the system functioned perfectly despite 40-knot winds, 6-foot waves and icy waters.
 A Trimble receiver inside each Slik-trak buoy uses signals from Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites to calculate its latitude and longitude. An internal radio modem then transmits this location data to a PC equipped with vessel/buoy tracking software. The software displays icons of the buoys on either a latitude and longitude grid or nautical chart of the spill area. The icons move with every position report from the buoys, providing a real time view of the spill's movement.
 Slik-trak GPS houses its radio modem and Trimble GPS receiver inside an Orion buoy. Orion has sold over 10,000 of its radio-equipped buoys -- the only buoys proven to stick to oil and float with a spill. Slik-trak also features an internal radio antenna and field-replaceable batteries. Its reporting intervals can be set by flipping switches in the buoy. At one-hour transmission intervals, the batteries will operate for over 250 hours before needing replacement.
 Slik-trak system technology has evolved from Trimble's rugged military range-tracking systems. These systems were first delivered in 1992 to track helicopters and high-performance aircraft. As such, Slik-trak is an example of "dual-use" technology, i.e., military technology that has been adapted to civilian applications. Trimble has applied this same systems technology to vessel tracking systems for oil tankers, mine sweeping, military test ranges and related command and control systems.
 Under terms of the Trimble/Orion agreement, Trimble has exclusive rights to market and sell the product. During 1994, Trimble will offer existing Orion customers a $100 trade-in on old Orion buoys. The Slik-trak buoy list price is $4,000. Slik-trak will be sold directly to customers in the United States and Canada. A basic Slik-trak system includes Slik-trak buoys, radio modem, computer, training and on-site spill support. Vessel tracking software will be available in spring of 1994. Available options include inverted differential and a position logger that enables the user to record, archive and replay Slik-trak position reports.
 Trimble Navigation is a world leader in the emerging commercial markets for satellite-based navigation, positioning and communication data products. These products are sold in a variety of international vertical markets including land survey, seismic and hydrographic survey, GIS data capture, military, general aviation, commercial and military aviation, marine, communications, tracking and OEM. Founded in 1978 and located in Sunnyvale, Calif., Trimble has been a leader in providing GPS solutions since 1984.
 -0- 1/25/94
 /CONTACT: Suzann Manteufel, 408-481-2905, or Barbara Thomas, 408-481-7808, both of Trimble Navigation/
 (TRMB)


CO: Trimble Navigation; Orion Electronics ST: California, Texas IN: OIL TLS SU: PDT

TM-LW -- SF002 -- 5387 01/25/94 06:30 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 25, 1994
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