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June 30, 2015

LightSquared Launches GPS Receiver Tests while Adjacent Band Interference Study Stalls

[Updated July 1, 2015] Even as government researchers weather another delay in a study aimed at preventing GPS disruptions, the company at the heart of the issue has launched its own test of what it deems to be economically significant GPS receivers.

LightSquared, the Virginia firm seeking to rezone satellite frequencies to support a nationwide, ground-based, wireless broadband network, expects results this fall.

June 30, 2015

U.S. Secretary of Defense Wants to Move Past GPS to MEMS-Based Navigation, PNT Experts Doubtful

Ashton Carter, the new U.S. Secretary of Defense has been making clear he supports moving past GPS to a disbursed network based on microelectromechanical systems or MEMS for position, navigation, and timing (PNT) information.

Carter, who was tapped to lead the Pentagon in February, appears to have first publically floated the idea a year ago, about six months after leaving the Department of Defense (DoD), where he had served most recently as deputy secretary of defense, a role that included cochairing the interdepartmental National Space-Based PNT Executive Committee.

June 30, 2015

Federal Rail Agency, Google Partner on Rail Crossing Safety with GNSS/Mapping Apps

Google has agreed to integrate into its mapping services geographic information system (GIS) data from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) that pinpoints the location of the nation's approximately 250,000 public and private railroad crossings.

June 30, 2015

GPS Will Ignore Today’s Leap Second, But Some User Equipment Might Not

As usual, a leap second that will be introduced into the coordinated universal time (UTC) system at 11:59 p.m. tonight (June 30, 2015) may cause some difficulties with devices and services that derive UTC via the Global Positioning System.

June 19, 2015

eLoran Signal Tests Start, Could Demonstrate GPS Backup Alternative

With worries mounting about jamming and other disruptions of GPS signals, officials took a step Friday (June 19, 2015) toward possibly establishing a backup for satellite navigation users in the United States.

June 16, 2015

PNT Advisory Board Debates Critical Infrastructure Designation for GPS

The United States’ top advisors on satellite navigation are split over the practical implications of identifying the GPS system as critical infrastructure.

At the heart of the issue is the additional protection such a designation could potentially afford the constellation particularly in the arenas of public and congressional opinion. That protection, however, could come with another layer of time-consuming and possibly constricting bureaucratic requirements.

June 16, 2015

Study: GPS Contributed More Than $68 Billion to the U.S. Economy

GPS contributed more than $68 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013, according to the preliminary results of a new study presented to the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Advisory Board.

And the study’s author, Irv Leveson, a consultant to ASCR Federal Research and Technology Solutions, LLC, described that figure as conservative because it did not fully incorporate a host of GPS applications including those depending on GPS timing information.

June 16, 2015

GNSS-Aided Autonomous Trucks Could Save Fuel, Reduce Congestion

Although media coverage of autonomous or self-driving vehicles has focused on their use by private car owners, an initial report on driver-assistive truck platooning (DATP) highlights the prospects for their use in the commercial freight sector.

Titled “Heavy Truck Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control — Evaluation, Testing, and Stakeholder Engagement for Near Term Deployment: Phase One Final Report,” the DATP project was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Exploratory Advanced Research program.

June 16, 2015

Inside GNSS Columnist Gathers Another D.C. Correspondent Award

Dee Ann Divis, an Inside GNSS contributing editor who writes the magazine’s Washington View column, continues to garner journalistic awards.

On June 9 she received the Society of Professional Journalists D.C. Chapter’s award for 2015 “Washington Correspondent” for a series of articles on unmanned aerial systems (UAS) published in Inside GNSS last year.

Her 2015 award citation for the series entitled  “Empty Skies” emphasized the “well-detailed and comprehensive handling of a complex subject. . . .”

May 29, 2015

Hundreds of Drones Approved as FAA Eases Limits

Work to integrate drones into the nation’s regular air traffic picked up speed over the last eight months as aviation regulators found new ways to permit unmanned flights while still keeping the skies safe for other aircraft.

In September 2014 the agency announced the first of what is now more than 450 waivers enabling commercial companies to begin for-profit operations in the United States.

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