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February 26, 2008

President’s FY09 Budget Proposes $1.2 Billion for GPS Program

President Bush’s Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) budget released earlier this month proposes an allocation of nearly $1.2 billion dollars for GPS operations, according to the Space and Missile Systems Center's GPS Wing at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California.

If approved, the budget would support continued development of the GPS III satellite program with a first launch in FY14. The somewhat delayed target date appears to match the prediction of the GPS Wing that the first GPS III launch would be set back a few months as a result of Congressional cuts in the FY08 GPS budget.

February 22, 2008

GLONASS CDMA Signals Near Approval

Russia appears ready to add code division multiple access (CDMA) signals to its frequency division multiple access (FDMA) GLONASS system.

A final decision is expected next week, according to Sergey Revnivykh, deputy head of the Russian GNSS Mission Control Center, in a February 20 presentation to the Munich Satellite Navigation Conference in Germany. Under the plan, CDMA signals would be introduced at L1 and L5 frequencies near GPS and Galileo signals, beginning with the GLONASS-K generation of satellites that will launch in 2010.

February 22, 2008

Europe Readies Galileo Procurement

Having transformed the Galileo program into a fully public procurement, European agencies have announced a schedule that would lead to contracts for the €3.4-billion project by the end of 2008. And non-European companies may be involved in providing certain components and services to the effort.

The plans were revealed in presentations by high-ranking figures from the European Commission (EC) and European Space Agency (ESA) speaking at the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit in Germany, February 19–21.

February 9, 2008

Ivanov GLONASS Flap Obscures Program Reality

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov’s criticism of Roscosmos and GLONASS continues to ripple in news columns around the world.
Widely reported in Russian media and picked up and amplified in derivative reports, Ivanov’s complaints focused on GLONASS’s relative inaccuracy, limited coverage, and lack of user equipment.

However, aside from the fact that the person making the remarks was Ivanov — a powerful figure once thought to be in line to succeed Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, none of this is really news. Rather, it seems like another example of the phenomenon that, when people learn of something for the first time, they assume it has just happened.

February 6, 2008

President’s 2009 Budget Proposal Directs DHS to Implement eLORAN

The Bush administration appears to have finally made a long-delayed decision to complete implementation of an enhanced LORAN (LOng RAnge Navigation) system to serve, in part, as a back-up to GPS.

Late in the drafting process of the Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) budget proposal that went to Congress earlier this week (February 4), officials added language “migrating” the LORAN-C system from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to the Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). A $34.5-million budget and 294 positions would take part in the migration.

February 6, 2008

GSA Seeks Proposals for Galileo Signal Study

The European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) has invited bids on an estimated €500,000 ($732,000), 18-month contract to evaluate and propose refinements in the Galileo signals to optimize the system’s prospects in a multi-system GNSS world.

February 2, 2008

Parliamentary Committee Proposal Would Abolish GNSS Supervisory Authority

A proposal before the European Parliament’s Industry Committee would abolish the European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA), turn responsibility for ensuring the Galileo system’s security requirements over to a new Committee on European GNSS Programs, and establish an Interinstitutional Monitoring Group (IMG) consisting of representatives of the parliament, the European Council's Presidency, and the European Commission (EC).

January 30, 2008

Nokia Eyes GLONASS signals for AGNSS Handsets

Finland’s Nokia, the world’s leading manufacturer of mobile phones, is investigating use of GLONASS signals in new products that could reach the market in the near future.

January 24, 2008

GPS Block IIF Satellite to Enter New Round of SMC Tests

Having successfully passed its initial phase of tests at the Space & Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, the first GPS Block IIF (follow-on generation) satellite is expected to enter the second round of thermal vacuum testing in late March, according to the GPS Wing.

On December 24, the GPS IIF program completed the first of two phases of thermal vacuum testing on the first IIF space vehicle (SV-1) built by The Boeing Company. This was "a major success for the program," in the words of GPS Wing officials. Thermal-vac tests exposed the spacecraft to extreme hot and cold temperatures under vacuum conditions to verify system performance and correlate the thermal models, according to the GPS Wing.

January 16, 2008

AFIT Releases GPS System Engineering Case Study

While awaiting the arrival of the definitive history of the Global Positioning System, students of the premier GNSS program might want to take a look at a systems engineering case study released last month by the Center for Systems Engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

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