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November 21, 2014

Unmanned Exemptions Requests Pile Up, NTSB Backs Commercial UAS Restrictions

The number of special requests to fly unmanned aircraft commercially has surpassed 130 as firms search for a way around a federal ban on for-pay flights. The new numbers came to light the same day a court decision underscored regulators’ authority to rein in the industry with restrictions unlikely to be lifted until new rules are put in place years from now.

November 21, 2014

Unmanned Innovations Top DoD Wish List

The U.S. Defense Department (DoD) is launching a search for innovative technologies to help U.S. forces to maintain their advantage in the face of gains by potential adversaries, tighter budgets, and an increasingly complex landscape of security challenges.

At the top of the agency’s wish list are advances related to unmanned systems, including miniaturization and robotics as well as systems that can operate more autonomously.

November 20, 2014

New Technology Could Enable UAVs to Fly Vertically

Imagine an unmanned multi-copter that doesn’t just fly horizontally, but that has the capability to fly vertically as well.

This UAV would have the ability to transition from the horizontal orientation most rotor drones fly in, and rotate its body to a vertical orientation, offering access to tight and irregular spaces conventional drones just can’t reach—a capability that could drastically improve search and rescue efforts in collapsed buildings.

November 20, 2014

Using Unmanned Systems to Fight Wildfires

Large wildfires can create their own weather and a dynamic, uncertain environment, and that is one of the reasons they’re so dangerous, says Manish Kumar, an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Toledo.

November 17, 2014

Europe Prepares Its Part of GNSS-Enhanced Search & Rescue Service

The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced completion of tests that indicate the readiness of the European component of a modernized, GNSS satellite–aided search and rescue service known as Cospas-Sarsat.

ESA has completed construction and testing of a trio of located on three islands at the far corners of the continent, ready to pick up distress calls via satellite from across Europe and its surrounding waters.

November 14, 2014

First GPS III Launch Slips to FY17

The launch of the first GPS III satellite could slip to as late as March 2017, further delaying a modernization program that already has been pushed back repeatedly by budget cuts and technical problems.

“The first GPS III launch is tentatively considered for the first half of FY17, based on booster availability and Air Force launch priorities,” a spokesman for the Space and Missile Systems Center told Inside GNSS.

November 14, 2014

Most Tariffs on GPS Equipment Could Soon disappear

Tariffs on GPS devices in more than 70 countries could disappear in a matter of months now that the U.S. and China have worked through an impasse on expanding the Information Technology Agreement (ITA).

November 10, 2014

ESA Will Attempt to Improve Orbits of Errant Galileo Satellites

The European Space Agency (ESA) announced plans today (November 10, 2014) to implement a series of maneuvers to reposition one of two Galileo full operational capability (FOC) satellites left in the wrong orbit this summer, as a prelude to its health being confirmed.
 
The aim is to raise the lowest point of the satellite’s orbit — its perigee — to reduce the radiation exposure from the Van Allen radiation belts surrounding Earth, as well as to put it into a more useful orbit for navigation purposes.
 

October 31, 2014

UK eLoran Now in Operation to Back Up GPS

Technology to counter the threat of GNSS jamming is now available at Dover and along the east coast of the United Kingdom as the island nation continues to implement an enhanced Loran (eLoran) system that is setting an example for the world.

October 30, 2014

Under Congressional Pressure, U.S. Agencies Maneuver on eLoran Relaunch, GPS Backup

Prodded by Congress, the federal government is reexamining its decision to abandon eLoran, a network of ground stations capable of supplying essential timing and positioning data to power, phone, and other critical networks if something happed to GPS.

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