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Thales Navigation

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Thales Navigation

Thales Navigation is a global GPS company created in 2001 from the merger of the Magellan Corporation and Thales Navigation, S.A.


Magellan is a privately held GPS company which markets its Magellan brand GPS products in vehicle navigation and outdoor markets, and its professional GPS and GNSS solutions under the Magellan Professional brand in the survey, GIS/Mapping, and OEM markets that include consumer electronics, automotive navigation and high-precision applications.

Through a joint venture with Hertz, Magellan has developed the Hertz NeverLost vehicle navigation system.

Magellan is head quartered in San Dimas, California, with European headquarters in Carquefou, France.

Magellan GPS

Magellan is a privately held navigation and positioning company with operations worldwide. Magellan introduced the first consumer hand held GPS solution in 1989.

Magellan's current products include both auto navigation and recreational handheld GPS devices, marketed under the names Magellan RoadMate, CrossoverGPS portable auto navigation solutions, eXplorist handhelds, and MapSend mapping and software products.


1965 Sercel founded as electronics company in France.

1978 NAVSTAR (Navigation System with Timing And Ranging), now known as GPS (Global Positioning System), launched by U.S. Department of Defense for military use, with 11 satellites in orbit.

1980 GPS atomic clocks onboard satellites activated.

1980 MLR Electronique, a radio-navigation (and later consumer GPS) company is founded in France.

1982 First GLONASS satellites launched by the USSR Ministry of Defense.

1983 GPS declassified by President Reagan after a Korean Airliner was shot down by Soviet fighters. GPS moves from pure military effort to public project.

1985 First European GPS receiver developed by Sercel.

1986 Magellan Systems Corporation consumer GPS company founded in California.

1987 Ashtech Corporation, a professional products GPS company, is founded in California.

1989 Magellan NAV 1000 introduced as the world's first commercial handheld GPS receiver.

1989 First differential GPS receiver introduced by Ashtech Corporation.

1990 Selective Availability (SA) implemented to purposely degrade accuracy for civilian users.

1994 Orbital Sciences Corporation acquires Magellan Systems Corporation.

1995 Full constellation of 24 GPS satellites in orbit; system declared fully operational.

1996 Sercel sells its radio-positioning division to Dassault Electronique. A joint venture is formed under the name Dassault Sercel Navigation Positioning.

1996 U.S. President Clinton authorizes SA to be phased out to provide civilians worldwide with greater GPS accuracy.

1997 Magellan introduces first handheld global satellite communicator; the GSC 100.

1997 Magellan Systems merges with Ashtech Corporation to become Magellan Corporation.

1997 Magellan launches world's first handheld GPS receiver priced under $100.

1998 Dassault Electronique becomes full owner of Dassault Sercel N.P.

1999 Dassault Electronique merges with two Thomson-CSF subsidiaries. The three become one company; Thomson-CSF Detexis. Following merger, Dassault Sercel Navigation Positioning becomes DSNP.

2000 DSNP acquires MLR Electronique. The same year, Thomson-CSF changes its name to Thales Group.

2000 Selective Availability phased out as a result of the 1996 executive order by U.S. President Clinton. Civilians can now achieve 10-15 meter accuracy, compared to the previously available 100-meter accuracy. This is a major win for the GPS industry and for GPS consumers.

2001 January As a wholly owned subsidiary of Thales Group, DSNP changes its name to Thales Navigation, S.A.

2001 July Thales Group acquires Magellan Corporation, merges it with Thales Navigation, S.A. to form Thales Navigation, a global GPS leader. The four leading brands represented in this new GPS company include MLR, DSNP, Magellan, and Ashtech. Thales Navigation streamlines the brands represented to maximize marketing and communications efforts. Magellan becomes the company's consumer GPS brand worldwide. Thales Navigation becomes the company's professional GPS brand worldwide.

2006 July Shah Capital Partners signs agreement to purchase GPS navigation business of Thales; New company to be called Magellan (Magellan Navigation, Inc.).

2006 August Shah Capital Partners completes agreement to purchase GPS navigation business of Thales. Company renamed Magellan (Magellan Navigation, Inc.).

See also


External links

  • Magellan GPS

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