June 11, 2010
[Updated June 11] China has begun transmitting signals on three frequencies from the Compass G3 satellite launched into geostationary orbit (GEO) on June 2. G3 is the third Compass (Beidou-2) GEO and the second such launch this year. The three GEOS and a a middle-earth-orbiting (MEO) spacecraft launched in 2007 comprise the constellations of China’s second-generation GNSS system now under development.
Chinese officials announced that the Compass G3 had reached its geostationary position at 84.6° E longitude on June 7. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has been able to capture the first nominal navigation signals of Beidou G-3.
June 10, 2010
[Updated June 10] The U.S. Air Force announced today (June 10) that it has begun
On June 7, 2010, a team of experts from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Stanford University in California reported results of their tracking of the first navigation signals from the satellite, the pseudorandom noise code 25 (PRN25) on L1 and L2 — C/A and P(Y).
June 6, 2010
Last week’s launch of the first GPS Block IIF illustrates the changes that have occurred not only with the pioneering U.S. GNSS program but also with the nation’s aerospace industry since the Global Positioning System initiative was launched 36 years ago.
June 6, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) accelerated its move toward a Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) with contracts awarded to Boeing, General Dynamics and ITT on May 26 and performance requirements for aircraft tracking equipment announced May 28.
NextGen, to be completed by 2025, will rely heavily upon GNSS to increase capacity, efficiency, and safety in the National Air Space (NAS) while reducing adverse environmental effects.
May 28, 2010
Boeing announced today (May 28) that it has acquired the first on-orbit signals from the first GPS Block IIF satellite, the inaugural spacecraft in a 12-satellite block that the company is building. The signals indicate that the spacecraft bus is functioning normally and ready to begin orbital maneuvers and operational testing.
The satellite was launched May 27 on its fourth attempt aboard a Delta IV rocket at 11:00 (EDT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. At 2:33 a.m. today, the satellite separated from the rocket's upper stage, and a ground station on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean received the first signals from the newest member of the Air Force's GPS satellite constellation, according to Boeing.
May 27, 2010
[updated July 10 ] Shanghai NaviForum, the event that introduced China's Compass (Beidou-2) GNSS sytem to an international audience in 2007, returns September 1-3 against the backdrop of a multi-billion dollar World Expo.
May 26, 2010
As the United States enters a season of crucial Department of Defense (DoD) policy reviews, GPS may be riding the wave or caught in the ebb tide, depending on how one reads the signs. But a softer line toward cooperative efforts on GNSS may be emerging, if only because of concerns about U.S. dependence on a potentially vulnerable system.
The Quadrennial Defense Review, the Space Posture Review, and program objective memorandums (POMs) that will span fiscal 2012-2016 all are in process. Meanwhile, DoD is pushing for reform of export controls, which have frequently constrained the ability of dual-use technologies such as GPS equipment and expertise to be exported profitably and in a timely manner.
May 25, 2010
(UPDATED May 25) The next launch attempt of the first GPS IIF space vehicle (SV1) has been tentatively set at Cape Canaveral for Thursday, May 27, when the launch window will be 11-11:19 p.m. EDT.
Originally scheduled for May 20, the launch was delayed several times. The fourth launch attempt was scrubbed Sunday night.
May 24, 2010
The third time wasn't the charm for an attempted first launch of a GPS follow-on (Block IIF) generation of satellites.
Problems with ground support equipment and then with the telemetry signal between the spacecraft and the ground equipment have delayed initial launch of the new-generation satellite three times in the last four days.
Originally scheduled for May 20, the launch was postponed again on May 21 and May 23. Mission controllers hope to get the IIF off the ground on May 24.
May 22, 2010
Launch managers canceled the second attempt to place the first GPS Block IIF satellite in orbit on Friday, May 21, when the telemetry signal between the spacecraft and the satellite ground support equipment was lost minutes before scheduled liftoff. The problem could not be resolved in time to launch during the 18-minute launch window.
Another launch attempt has been set for Sunday, May 23, betwen 11:17 and 11:35 p.m. (EDT). The first launch effort on May 20 was called off when a problem with ground support equipment was detected during the day.