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February 19, 2013

Air Force Awards Boeing Contract to Continue GPS Modernization

The U.S. Air Force has awarded The Boeing Company a $51 million to continue modernizing the GPS satellite constellation for up to five more years. The contract covers GPS IIF satellite shipment to the launch site in Florida, pre-launch preparation, post-launch checkout, handover, and on-orbit support. It has an initial one-year term with four one-year options.

February 18, 2013

Lockheed Gains New GPS III SV Contract, Reaches Milestone

The U.S. Air Force GPS Directorate at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Califorinia, has awarded Lockheed Martin Space System Company a $62-million firm-fixed-price contract for GPS III Space Vehicles (SVs) 5 and 6 to be completed by June 30, 2017.

Funded under the federal Fiscal Year 2013 budget and announced February 8, construction will take place at the company’s facilities in Newtown, Pennsylvnia.

February 7, 2013

GPS Industry Launches New Association

[Updated February 13, 2013] The GPS industry has formed a new trade association called the GPS Innovation Alliance that will work to educate policy makers and the public about the GPS system and protect the interests of the hundreds of organizations and users that rely upon the constellation, according to sources familiar with the new group.

January 31, 2013

UK/US Deal on GPS Signal Patent Omits Galileo Version

A recently announced deal between the United States and the United Kingdom to revoke the UK’s surprise patents on a key GPS technology has a glaring omission: Intentionally left out of the agreement are patents on the European Union’s version of the technology, a signal structure important to enabling Europe’s Galileo system to work seamlessly with America’s GPS constellation.

Inside GNSS • January/February 2013

GNSS Hotspots

1. TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Washington, D.C.

GNSS Solutions • January/February 2013

Markets and Multi-Frequency GNSS

Q: What will limit the spread of multi-frequency GNSS receivers into the mass market?

A: To set the scene, we need to define our terms of reference. By multi-frequency we mean receivers that operate with navigation signals in more than just the standard upper L-band from about 1560–1610 MHz where we find GPS L1, Galileo E1, Compass B1, and GLONASS L1. The obvious additional frequency is the lower L-band, from about 1170 to 1300 MHz, where again the same four constellations have signals.

Thinking Aloud • January/February 2013

The GNSS Merry Go Round

The whole GNSS world should have a warm spot in its heart for centripetal forces.

After all, a centripetal force — in this case, gravity — is what keeps planets in rotation around our Sun and satellites, around the Earth.

Centrifugal force, of course, is what throws us off a merry-go-round or carousel. Centripetal force is what keeps us on board.

For those on a merry-go-round, the centripetal force is not gravity, but rather the tensile strength of our arms pulling us toward the center of rotation, at right angles to the motion of our seats.

Inside GNSS • January/February 2013

More Than Money Worries

Navigation users may benefit from GPS modernization sooner than expected thanks to an apparent shift in the schedule of the modernized GPS ground control segment still under development.

The change means that full operational implementation of the new signals will come earlier in the delayed modernization of the operational control Segment (OCS).

Inside GNSS • January/February 2013

The GNSS Quartet

The world’s four GNSS programs aren’t exactly a classical quartet, weaving Mozart stanzas in disciplined execution.

They are more like a new jazz combo, riffing off one another while still trying to get in the groove.

Whatever image the metaphor evokes, if the world’s GNSS programs want to hit that high note of interoperability (to which they all say they aspire), the operators of GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, and Galileo must learn to harmonize better.

Ventures • January 22, 2013

AFRL Selects Surrey Satellite US to Evaluate Small Satellite Approach to GPS

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has selected Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC (SST-US), of Englewood, Colorado, to investigate cost reduction and augmentation of the current GPS constellation through the application of a small satellite approach.

AFRL has contracted with SST-US to identify and analyze how small satellites can improve aspects of GPS system performance, such as accuracy, coverage, and robustness at costs far below those of past procurements.

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