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August 31, 2015

Pair of Galileo Satellites, GPS Block IIF Approach Launch Date

Europe’s latest Galileo satellites are fully fueled and ready to be attached to the upper stage of the Soyuz rocket that will carry them into space next month.
Galileo satellites 9 and 10 are due to launch at 04:08 GMT on September 11 (02:08 CEST; 11:08 p.m. local time, September 10) from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

August 31, 2015

LightSquared Launches New GPS Receiver Tests

LightSquared’s proposed GPS receiver tests are relying on an outdated standard of GPS accuracy, a choice some experts suggest is a maneuver aimed at dramatically lowering the bar the would-be wireless broadband company has to meet for showing noninterference to GPS signals.

August 20, 2015

Alibaba, China Miltary Supplier Join Forces for BeiDou-Aided LBS JV

Alibaba, China’s e-commerce counterpart to Amazon, has formed a joined venture with state-owned China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO), the leading arms and equipment supplier for nation’s military forces, to provide location-based services (LBS) based on the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).

August 19, 2015

Federal Agencies Move to Close Most NDGPS Sites

A Federal Register notice published yesterday (August 18, 2015) seeking comment on plans to shut down a large portion of the Nationwide Differential GPS (NDGPS) network marks the effective end of a program that spurred a hard-fought controversy in the era of Selective Availability (SA).

August 17, 2015

Ultra-wideband Re-emerges as a GNSS Interference Issue

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is weighing a request to waive spectrum rules for a new ultra-wideband (UWB) device that would operate across a wide swath of frequencies including those used by satellite navigation. The proposal has prompted a call for a wider reconsideration of ultra-wideband limits, a suggestion opposed by the GPS community.

August 17, 2015

Appropriations Impasse Could Stall U.S. GPS Programs

The federal government is once again approaching the end of its fiscal year without the appropriations necessary to keep the doors open come October 1 — a reality that could undermine GPS modernization and related programs.

Congress, now in the midst of its August recess, will have just 12 days to sort things out when members return after Labor Day. Under the best of circumstances, lawmakers would almost certainly need to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to extend current spending levels and buy themselves time to hammer out budgetary deals.

August 16, 2015

China's New BeiDou GNSS Satellites Come on Line, Talk to Each Other

China’s two most recently launched BeiDou navigation spacecraft have begun operating and established inter-satellite links in the nation’s GNSS constellation, the state news agency Xinhua announced on Friday (August 14, 2015).

August 13, 2015

Most Railroads Will Miss Deadline for Implementing GPS-Aided Positive Train Control

Only a small percentage of railroads are expected to obtain system certification and complete implementation of GPS-aided positive train control (PTC) systems by the current deadline at the end of this year, according to a recent report to Congress by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

August 12, 2015

GPS Directorate Considers Revisions to GPS Interface Specs

The U.S. Air Force Global Positioning Systems Directorate is seeking public comment on proposed revisions to selected sections of the GPS Interface Specifications.

The GPS Directorate requests public comments on the following Proposed Interface Revision Notices (PIRNs) in preparation for a public meeting of the GPS Interface Control Working Group (ICWG) planned in December.
    • PIRN-IS-705D-001 (L5 Phase Noise Plot)
    • PIRN-IS-800D-001 (L1C Phase Noise Plot)

July 31, 2015

Experts: Exclusion Zones Around GPS-Interference Problematic; LightSquared/GPS Lawsuit Settlement Talks a No-Go

In the same week conflicting court filings underscored the intractability of the fight between LightSquared and GPS receiver manufacturers.

Meanwhile, a key technical group found that aviation likely would be hampered — yet not fully protected — by exclusion zones around wireless broadband transmission towers using, as LightSquared has proposed, frequencies adjacent to GPS bands.

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