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Thales Navigation Provides MicroZ GPS Receivers to Help Australian Agencies Determine Absolute Sea Level.

Business Editors & High-Tech/Environment Writers

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 22, 2002

Thales (tal-less) Navigation, a leading global provider of GPS solutions including the Magellan(R) and Ashtech(R) product lines, announced today that it is providing Ashtech MicroZ(TM) reference stations to Australia for sea level monitoring. The South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project (SPSLCMP) was developed by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) to study the potential impacts of human-induced global warming on climate and sea levels in the Pacific, and the MicroZ is a critical part of the project's latest phase.

The MicroZ is ideal for applications that require continuous monitoring and effective collection of accurate data from remote locations. The most powerful permanent GPS reference station available, MicroZ enables totally automated data collection through a combination of MicroManager Software and Geodetic Base Station Software (GBSS), as well as robust modem integration. The MicroZ can be placed in highly remote areas, and it can be managed from a central location to gather and process data for a variety of scientific and government purposes.

Geoscience Australia chose the Ashtech MicroZ reference station from Thales Navigation because of its ability to effectively stream data to the PC as well as reliably store raw data in the receiver memory. By using the MicroZ, SPSLCMP benefits from the reference station's 85MB of internal memory; low power usage; input power range for DC as well as AC power options; modem access; four communication ports; two power ports; and compatibility with external frequencies.

The goal of SPSLCMP is to use state-of-the-art technology such as the MicroZ to provide an accurate long-term record of sea levels in the South Pacific, enabling regional governments and appropriate agencies to respond to and manage related impacts. Some Pacific island nations are only two meters above the sea, and others could lose important residential, commercial and natural areas along their coasts if sea levels rise significantly.

Australian Marine Science and Technology Limited (AMSAT) manages the project for AusAID, and Geoscience Australia, National Mapping Division -- a Federal Government unit within the Department for Industry Science and Resources -- is responsible for the establishment and management of a Continuous Global Positioning System (CGPS) network. The purpose of the CGPS network is to enhance the accuracy of data from SEAFRAME (Sea Level Fine Resolution Acoustic Measuring Equipment) monitoring stations, which have been operating since 1991. The Ashtech MicroZ reference stations monitor movements in the earth's crust to more accurately determine absolute sea level and detect if the sea level is rising -- a task that had never been adequately addressed until now. The SPSLCMP CGPS network will consist of 12 stations, with six stations currently operating and two more under construction. All 12 stations are expected to be operational by June 2003.

"The MicroZ is a durable and reliable reference station that is easy to manage through the Ashtech GBSS and MicroManager software. Performance of the receivers has been excellent, and support from Thales Navigation and Sagem Australasia, the local rep, has been outstanding," said Bob Twilley, a representative of Geoscience Australia and the GPS Networks Manager for SPSLCMP.

"The Ashtech MicroZ reference station is ideal for the remote and continuous operation required by Australia's South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project," said Neil Vancans, Thales Navigation's general manager of the professional products business unit. "The MicroZ's dependable construction, low-maintenance design, and integration with innovative software makes continuous, automated data collection easy for scientific applications anywhere in the world."

About Thales Navigation

Thales Navigation is one of the world's leading developers and manufacturers of positioning, navigation, and guidance equipment with operations throughout the U.S. and Europe. Thales Navigation markets its Magellan brand GPS solutions in the consumer electronics, recreation, and automotive markets, and its Ashtech GPS and GNSS professional products in the survey, GIS/Mapping, and OEM markets. Through its joint venture with Hertz, Thales Navigation has developed the Hertz NeverLost(R) vehicle navigation system. Thales Navigation's key innovations include the first U.S. commercial hand-held GPS receiver for positioning and navigation, and the first handheld GPS with industry standard Secure Digital Memory Card capabilities.

Thales Navigation, headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., is a subsidiary of Thales, a leading professional electronics company headquartered in Paris, France, with activities in aerospace, defense and information technology and services. For more information, visit www.thalesnavigation.com.

For product information:

Thales Navigation

Corporate Headquarters, Santa Clara, CA, USA

+1 408 615 5100 * Fax +1 408 615 5200

Email ashtechsales@thalesnavigation.com

In Washington, DC +1 703 476 2212 * Fax +1 703 476 2214

In South America +56 2 234 56 43 * Fax +56 2 234 56 47

In China +86 10 6566 9566 * Fax +86 10 6566 0246

European Headquarters, Carquefou, France

+33 2 28 09 38 00 * Fax +33 2 28 09 39 39

Email info@thalesnavigation.com

In Germany +49 81 6564 7930 * Fax +49 81 6564 7950

In Russia +7 095 956 5400 * Fax +7 095 956 5360

In UK +44 1993 8867 66 * Fax +44 1993 8867 67

In the Netherlands +31 78 61 57 988 * Fax +31 78 61 52 027

Websites www.thalesnavigation.com * www.ashtech.com

Magellan and Ashtech are registered trademarks of Thales Navigation.

MicroZ is a trademark of Thales Navigation.
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Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Comment:Thales Navigation Provides MicroZ GPS Receivers to Help Australian Agencies Determine Absolute Sea Level.
Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Aug 22, 2002
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