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July 17, 2017

GPS Official: Expect One Follow-on GPS III Contractor, Tech Insertion Points

The U.S. Air Force will hold a full and open competition for the next GPS III contract and is focused on choosing a single contractor for all 22 satellites to limit engineering costs, a GPS program official told the United States' leading satellite navigation experts.

July 17, 2017

GPS Expert Scott Pace Named to National Space Council

Scott Pace, a grand master of space policy with particular expertise in satellite navigation, has been chosen by the White House to be executive secretary of the newly revived and potentially powerful National Space Council.

"Ever since the Trump Administration indicated that it would re-establish the Space Council," wrote Marcia Smith of spacepolicyonline.com, "his is virtually the only name rumored to be in the running to serve as the head of its staff."

July 11, 2017

Galileo Helping Europe Harmonize Geospatial Data

The importance of geospatial data being harmonized across Europe via a common coordinate system was stressed at the recent EUREF 2017 Symposium in Wroclaw, Poland, where the European GNSS Agency (GSA) discussed Galileo’s role in helping the mapping and surveying sector.

July 11, 2017

Expert GPS Panel: New Ligado Plan Still Harms GPS

The nation's leading GPS experts said in a newly released letter that a controversial broadband network would still interfere significantly with GPS receivers despite revisions to the network plan. The right choice, the group advised key administration officials, is to protect GPS, which underlies aviation and much of the nation’s other critical infrastructure.

July 7, 2017

Launch Doubles Size of Iridium NEXT Fleet; Space-Based ADS-B Network Evolving

Iridium Communications’ recent successful second launch of its next-generation network, Iridium NEXT, has further implemented a space-based automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) developed by Aireon. This payload of 10 satellites deployed into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) approximately one hour after a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Sunday, June 25.

June 29, 2017

Opposition to Ligado Plan Expands

Assertions by Virginia-based Ligado that its GPS interference issues were largely resolved were called into question by statements made by two key agencies and fresh opposition to a related spectrum request from nearly two dozen companies and associations.

June 29, 2017

Air Force, Congress Face Off over Space Program Management

The U.S. Air Force is in a tug of war with congressional lawmakers over how military space programs will be managed going forward.

The House Armed Services Subcommittee (HASC) Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, this week threw his support behind a measure to move Space Command out from under the Air Force, placing it instead within U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), one of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) nine unified commands.

June 26, 2017

Second Lockheed Martin GPS III Satellite Assembled, Ready to Begin Environmental Testing

Lockheed Martin’s second GPS III satellite is now assembled and preparing for environmental testing, and the third satellite is close behind, having just received its navigation payload.

In a specialized cleanroom designed to streamline satellite production, the company is in full production building GPS III – the world’s most powerful GPS satellites, near Denver, Colorado.

June 23, 2017

Galileo Gains 8 Satellites; Navigation Constellation Reaches Completion

The European Space Agency (ESA) signed a contract Thursday with a German-British consortium to build eight additional satellites for its Galileo navigation constellation.

The deal, which brings the Galileo navigation constellation to completion, was signed at the International Paris Air Show with German company OHB System AG as the prime contractor, and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. overseeing the navigation platforms.

June 22, 2017

New Reports on Performance Standards Confirm GPS’s “Gold Standard” Status for PNT

The U.S. Air Force last week released two technical reports demonstrating that GPS continues to deliver exceptional performance to civilian users around the world. The 2014 and 2015 performance reports confirm that the GPS Standard Positioning Service (SPS) satisfied nearly all measurable performance commitments documented in the GPS SPS Performance Standard, furthering the status of GPS as the “Gold Standard” for positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT).

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