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July 31, 2014

AFRL ANGELS Take Flight with GPS On Board

While the GNSS community waits for the scheduled launch on Friday (August 1, 2014) of the seventh GPS Block IIF satellite, the United Launch Alliance successfully lifted a three-satellite Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) payload into geosynchronous orbit on Monday (July 28, 2014) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

July 29, 2014

Galileo Team Reports Successful Tracking of Encrypted Commercial Service Signals

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) announced today (July 29, 2014) that a recent 10-day test has successfully tracked and demodulated data from encrypted signals of the Commercial Service (CS) from available Galileo satellites.

Using receivers located in Tres Cantos, Spain, and Poing, Germany, the Early Proof of Concept (EPOC) team tracked encrypted Galileo E6-B and E6-C signals. Non-encrypted E6-B and E6-C signals have previously been tracked.

July 29, 2014

GPS Directorate to Hold Public Forum for Feedback on GPS Technical Specifications

The Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Directorate will host an open public forum on August 22 for the following NAVSTAR GPS public documents: IS-GPS-200 (Navigation User Interfaces), IS-GPS-705 (User Segment L5 Interfaces), IS-GPS-800 (User Segment L1C Interface), and ICD-GPS-870 (Navstar Next Generation GPS Operational Control Segment [OCX] to User Support Community Interfaces).

July 19, 2014

U.S. Geological Survey Releases New National Seismic Maps

Updated National Seismic Hazard Maps released by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on Thursday (July 17, 2014) indicate a higher level of earthquake risk for the West Coast and some areas of the Midwest and East Coast then previously thought.

July 16, 2014

Companies Step into GPS III Competition as Air Force Weighs Broader Changes

As the Air Force contemplates changing its GPS III prime contractor in the face of program delays, sources say it is also weighing much broader program changes to help it weather years of continued lean budgets.

July 16, 2014

Communications Act Rewrite Could Adversely Affect GPS Community

Two powerful lawmakers are weighing rewriting the rules for the way frequencies are allocated as part of an overhaul of the nation’s telecommunications laws. The effort, which is likely to see legislation drafted next year, is considering options such as flexible licensing and receiver standards that could directly affect the GPS community.

July 14, 2014

Harbinger Sues U.S. Government over LightSquared

Harbinger Capital Partners, a hedge fund controlled by Phil Falcone that acted as the primary financial backer of LightSquared, is suing the United States government over the failure of the proposed terrestrial broadband wireless network that would have broadcast in RF spectrum adjacent to GNSS L1 frequencies.

July 11, 2014

Galileo IOV Satellite Failure Mystery Still Unsolved

[Updated June 16, 2014] Sources in Brussels say the recently reported “power loss” that threatens to end the brief transmission life of Galileo GSAT0104, the fourth Galileo in-orbit validation (IOV) satellite, has nothing to do with the onboard atomic clocks, but could have been caused by a failure in the components linked to the solid-state power amplifier (SSPA), including the output multiplexer, cables and/or antenna.

June 30, 2014

FAA Seeks Comment on Groundbreaking UAS Application, Model Aircraft Rules

Federal aviation officials appear to be moving quickly to defuse mounting pressure for the commercial use of unmanned aircraft, clarifying their authority over such aircraft and starting the public process for licensing small firms for limited operations.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has taken a tough stance in its interpretation of the legal uses for model aircraft published on June 23 in the Federal Register. The issue surged into the national spotlight when the agency failed to win a legal challenge over its authority to regulate such devices.

June 30, 2014

GPS OCX Program Being Restructured as Budget Pressures Mount

In response to the ongoing federal budget squeeze, the U.S. Air Force is restructuring the contract for developing its new GPS ground system, a move that could further delay its completion.

The Air Force has asked Raytheon, its contractor for the Next-Generation Operational Control System (OCX), to develop an alternative plan in light of fiscal limitations.

“The current baseline approach is unaffordable” given the funding constraints and “appears to be a much higher risk,” said Steve Moran, the director of GPS Mission Solutions at Raytheon.

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