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December 8, 2016

Two Galileo Satellites Transmitting Navigation Signals

After months of testing, the European Space Agency (ESA) has announced that Galileo satellites 13 and 14 are transmitting working navigation signals and are ready to relay distress calls to emergency services.

The satellites, launched from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana on 24 May, went through lengthy testing that included receiving and uplinking signals through specialized antennas, ESA said. Some of the tests included navigation and search and rescue payloads methodically switched on, the agency said.

December 7, 2016

Ligado Networks and Topcon Reach Spectrum Use Agreement

Ligado Networks has announced a cooperation agreement with Topcon Positioning Systems that removes another barrier to a 5G network rollout.

According to a November 29 letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the agreement calls for future coordination prior to network development and for any mitigation efforts. Topcon also urged the FCC to grant Ligado's modification applications to enable ground-based services on its mid-band spectrum.

December 1, 2016

Transportation Department Starts Hunt for GPS Timing Backup Supplier

Federal officials are finally moving on a year-old, two-phase plan to establish a long delayed backup for the GPS system.

November 30, 2016

GAO: New GPS Ground System, Not GPS III Engineering, Primary Cause for Delays

Government watchdogs said in a new report that schedule slippages in the new GPS ground system — which in October had another four months added to its repeatedly extended schedule — are more of a factor in delays to GPS modernization than technical problems with the satellite's payload.

November 20, 2016

GPS PNT Enhances GOES-R Space Weather Satellite Mission

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-series (GOES-R) for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, yesterday (November 19, 2016) headed for geosynchronous orbit.

November 17, 2016

European Commission, GSA Issue Third Call for Galileo, EGNOS R&D Contracts

The European Commission (EC) has opened the third round of competition for €33 million (US$35.15 million) in Horizon 2020 (H2020) contracts for development of European GNSS (EGNSS) applications exploiting use of Galileo and the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).

November 17, 2016

Europe Launches Galileo Navigation Satellite Quadruplets

A modified Ariane 5 rocket lifted four Galileo satellites into orbit today (November 17, 2016) following an 8:06 a.m. (EST) launch from the European Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.

The Galileo satellites reached their target altitude, after a "flawless release" from the new dispenser designed to handle four satellites, according to the European Space Agency (ESA). The dispenser released the first pair three hours and 25 minutes after liftoff, while the second separated 20 minutes later.

November 16, 2016

NASA to Launch Satellite-Based GNSS Hurricane Watch

NASA plans to launch the Cyclone GNSS (CYGNSS) hurricane mission aboard a Pegasus XL rocket on December 12 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. CYGNSS, which is NASA's first Earth science small-satellite constellation, will help improve hurricane intensity, tracking, and storm surge forecasts, the agency said.

November 16, 2016

NOAA Expands GNSS Data Sources for Weather Prediction

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will purchase data from small commercial satellites to expand its GNSS radio occultation (RO) efforts to better predict weather.

In September NOAA, through the government's Commercial Weather Data Pilot program, awarded contracts to San Francisco, California-based Spire Global ($370,000) and GeoOptics ($695,000), of Pasadena, California, to provide RO data. This data will be used to assess whether commercially provided information can be incorporated into the agency's weather models.

November 16, 2016

NASA Breaks Guinness World Record for Highest GPS Altitude Fix

NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission broke the Guinness World Record for highest altitude fix of a GPS signal, the agency announced this week. The MMS satellites, operating in a highly elliptical orbit, set the record at 43,500 miles above the Earth.

The four MMS satellites incorporate GPS measurements into their tracking systems for position and orbit calculations to guide tight formations, NASA said.

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