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May 8, 2014

ESA GNSS Summer School Offers Technical and Business Courses

The European Space Agency (ESA) International Summer School on GNSS 2014 take place July 21–31 on the campus of the Technical University of Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Held in conjunction with the European Commission Joint Research Center’s Summer School on GNSS, the program is open to graduate students (with a first university degree), Ph.D. candidates, early-stage researchers, and young professional seeking to broaden their knowledge.

May 6, 2014

FAA Authorizes UAS Flights at Alaska Test Site

On Monday (May 5, 2014), the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that the University of Alaska’s unmanned aircraft system (UAS) test site has become operational — the second of six test organizations selected to take part in the congressionally mandated UAS in the National Airspace System (NAS) initiative that the agency is leading.

Inside GNSS • May/June 2014

DoD Condenses Acquisition Strategy to Speed M-Code Units

A shift in the Air Force’s acquisition plan should shave a year off the time needed to finish development of new M-code–equipped receivers and potentially inspire more commercially flavored innovation — and perhaps even the entry of new vendors.

The new approach enables the Pentagon to fulfill a congressional mandate to buy only M-code receivers after fiscal year 2017 and could help convince the user community, jaded by previous delays, to speed adoption of the more resilient devices.

Inside GNSS • May/June 2014

Location Authentication

Smartphone apps represent the most prominent market for GNSS. No other device or community of users has achieved a larger growth and market penetration in the period 2008–2013.

Apple introduced the first GPS capability on a smartphone in June 2008 with the iPhone3, and one year later Samsung introduced its Samsung Galaxy, incorporating the first GPS receiver for this brand.

Inside GNSS • May/June 2014

An Airborne Experimental Test Platform

Although most UAV applications to date have appeared in the military and law enforcement sectors, many important civilian applications exist for these vehicles. Such uses include wildfire surveys, transportation infrastructure inspection, and precision agriculture. Recent advances in guidance, navigation and control (GNC) technology have made these civilian applications possible.

April 30, 2014

Pentagon Seeks to Partner for Access to Other GNSS Signals

The U.S. military is moving toward using the signals of other satellite navigation constellations to help ensure access to positioning and timing information and to potentially thwart spoofing.

The impending shift came to light in remarks made by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III during a talk last week (April 23, 2014) at the National Press Club.

April 30, 2014

Key GPS/PNT Official Teri Takai Leaving DoD

Teri Takai, the Department of Defense’s chief information officer (DoD CIO) announced April 28 that she would be leaving at the end of this week. She is the top advisor to the secretary of defense on navigation and timing plus a host of other subjects including telecommunications, satellite communications, and spectrum issues.

April 24, 2014

NANU Alerts GPS Users to Start of L2C/L5 CNAV Messages

GPS Block IIR-M and IIF satellites began transmitting CNAV messages on the L2C and L5 signals, on Monday (April 28, 2014).

In a Notice Advisory to NAVSTAR Users (NANU), Air Force Space Command announced that it would begin implementing the civil navigation Message Types (MTs) 10 and 11 (with satellite ephemerides), 30 (satellite clock data, and corrections for ionospheric and group delay), and 33 (parameters related to correlating coordinated universal time (UTC-USNO) time with GPS system time). MT12 (reduced almanac) will not be broadcast at this time.

April 16, 2014

At ENC 2014: A GNSS Wake Up Call for Europe

Among the key topics to come out of this year’s European Navigation Conference (ENC 2014) in Rotterdam is how safe — or unsafe — we really are, and who in Europe cares. The answer is, a lot of people care, but almost no one can do anything about it.

Professor David Last, strategic advisor at the General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK & Ireland, made the case before the conference had even started, at the pre-conference “Resilient PNT Forum.”

April 16, 2014

Wyoming UAS Test Site Plans Unravel in the Face of Military Airspace Limits

Newly enforced limits on using military airspace to test unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are rattling test range managers across the country and appear to have caused at least one operation to drop its plans for an independent test site for unmanned vehicles.  

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