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December 18, 2014

Raytheon, Lockheed Complete Another GPS III, OCX Development Exercise

On Wednesday (December 17, 2014) Raytheon Company announced successful completion of the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises being undertaken together with Lockheed Martin to demonstrate new automation capabilities, information assurance, and launch readiness of the U.S. Air Force's next generation GPS III satellite and Operational Control System (OCX).

December 17, 2014

Errant Galileo FOC Satellite Signal Helps Provide First Positioning

Galileo's fifth satellite (and first fully operational capability, or FOC, spacecraft) — recently salvaged from an incorrect orbit  — has been combined with three predecessors to provide its very first position fix.

Test receivers at the European Space Agency (ESA) ESTEC technical center in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, and at the Galileo In-Orbit Test station at Redu, Belgium, received the signals at 12:48 GMT on December 9 from a quartet of Galileo satellites and fixed their horizontal positions to better than two meters.

December 16, 2014

Cut to GPS OCX Civil Funding Could Trigger New Delays as Scrutiny, Pressure Mount

With final passage of the Omnibus spending bill on December 13 Congress deepened by $17 million the fiscal ditch in which the new GPS ground system finds itself, possibly further delaying the completion of a modernized operational control segment (OCX) and increasing costs just as the Department of Defense’s top acquisition official steps in to take a closer look at budget overruns.

December 16, 2014

Official: Foreign GNSS Signals Need FCC Authorization for Use in United States

A rule largely aimed at opening trade in telecommunication services will require Russia and other international providers of GNSS services to apply for authorization before their navigation signals can be legally used in the United States, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) official has told GPS experts on the Space-based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Advisory Board.

December 15, 2014

Saudi Group Awards Water Resources Prize to GNSS Researchers

The GPS Reflections Group at the University of Colorado, Boulder, led by Dr. Kristine M. Larson, has received the Creativity Prize from the Council for the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water.

The council awarded the prize today (December 15, 2014) at a ceremony preceding the 6th International Conference on Water Resources and Arid Environments (ICWRAE 6) taking place this week in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

December 15, 2014

8th GPS IIF Satellite Begins Transmitting Nav Signals

[Updated December 15, 2014] The eighth GPS Block IIF navigation satellite launched on October 29 has completed its operational checkout and was set to healthy and usable on Friday (December 12, 2014). This brings the number of satellites transmitting the L2C signal to 15 and those transmitting the L5 signal to 8.  The next GPS-IIF satellite, IIF-9/SVN-70 is tentatively scheduled for launch in March of 2015.

December 8, 2014

Canada Eases Rules for Commercial Unmanned Flights; UAV Mischief Mounts in U.S.

Canada has lifted a key filing requirement on professional drone operators, allowing firms flying small, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to conduct for-profit flights without prior approval as long as they follow a lengthy set of rules and obtain insurance.

December 3, 2014

Galileo Satellite Recovered, Transmitting Navigation Messages

Europe's fifth Galileo satellite, one of two delivered into a wrong orbit by a Russian Soyuz-Fregat launcher in August, transmitted its first navigation signal in space on Saturday (November 29, 2014) after reaching its new target orbit.

According to the European Space Agency (ESA), a detailed test campaign is under way now the satellite has reached a more suitable orbit for navigation purposes.

December 2, 2014

2nd GLONASS-K1 Finally Reaches Space

Russia launched the second and final GLONASS-K1 flight-test satellite on Sunday (November 30, 2014) from the Plesetsk cosmodrome on board a Soyuz 2-1B rocket.

Built by ISS-Reshetnev, he satellite broadcasts five navigation signals in three frequency bands – L1, L2 and L3. A civil CDMA signal is among those to be transmitted in the L3 band. The spacecraft also carries new equipment to support the international search and rescue system COSPAS-SARSAT: a payload that can relay signals from users in distress.

November 28, 2014

Funding at Risk as Work on UAV Standards Falls Behind

Efforts to set aviation standards for larger unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have fallen behind schedule, threatening essential funding for related tests and possibly complicating an Air Force program that needs the standards to make technology choices.

The schedule is slipping because initial estimates of the work involved in setting the  standards for detect-and-avoid (DAA) technology did not fully capture the complexity and extent of the effort necessary. DAA technology is intended to

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