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September 19, 2012

China Launches Two More Compass/BeiDou-2 Spacecraft

China successfully launched another two Compass/BeiDou satellites into space at 3:10 a.m. Beijing time on Wednesday (September 19, 2012), according to the Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

They were the 14th and 15th satellites for the nation’s GNSS system, and presumably the fourth and fifth middle-Earth-orbiting (MEO) satellites in the constellation. The satellites, launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, were boosted by a Long March-3B carrier rocket.

September 11, 2012

GPS, Galileo Launches Near; GSA Opens Prague Office

The U.S. and European GNSS programs will launch satellites within a week of each other next month.

A GPS Block IIF satellite is scheduled to be lifted into space on October 4 and a second pair of Galileo in-orbit validation (IOV) satellites, on October 10.

Meanwhile, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) opened its new office in Prague, Czech Republic, last Thursday (September 6, 2012).

September 7, 2012

Lockheed, Raytheon Complete First GPS III Launch Exercise

Raytheon Company and Lockheed Martin have successfully completed the first launch readiness exercise for the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation GPS III satellites.

August 31, 2012

U.S. Officials Explore Use of the EU's Galileo Secure Civil Signal

The United States and the European Union are talking about how U.S. agencies might use the secure signal planned for Galileo to better fulfill their various responsibilities.

August 31, 2012

Radiation Belt Probes to Add to Understanding of Space Weather

NASA launched its Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) yesterday (August 30, 2012), with a scientific mission to explore the planet's radiation belts, where solar storms can amplify space weather effects, posing dangers to GPS satellites, communications, and human spaceflight.

August 20, 2012

PNT Advisory Board Seeks Details on Economic Benefits of GPS

To help counter pressures from federal budget cutters and wireless advocates searching for more broadband spectrum, the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Advisory Board is crafting a study documenting the economic benefits of GPS.

“We have a new assignment . . . to discover and disclose the economic contributions of the Global Positioning System,” Chairman Jim Schlesinger told the board at an August 15, 1012 meeting of the advisory board.

August 17, 2012

It's Back: GNSS and the Right to Privacy

A new U.S. appellate court decision could bring the issue of warrantless tracking of suspects using GPS and other positioning data derived from mobile phones back before the Supreme Court.

And if the case — United States of America v. Melvin Skinner — is appealed to and accepted for review by the “Supremes,” they would probably have an opportunity to more directly address the question of whether U.S. citizens have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in their personal location information garnered surreptitiously from GPS-enabled cell phones by police.

August 17, 2012

GPS Advisors Urge Air Force to Switch on Full L2 Civil Signal

The nation’s top GPS experts pressed the Air Force this week to turn on the full capability of the L2C civil GPS signal that the military has been broadcasting without a navigation message despite having had signal-equipped satellites on orbit for years.

August 14, 2012

China Seeks to Increase BeiDou Acceptance through Standardization and Certification Effort

China will build a testing and certification network for its BeiDou satellite navigation system over the next three years as part of an effort to make the GNSS system more competitive globally.

August 7, 2012

Next Galileo Satellite Reaches French Guiana Launch Facility; EGNOS Expands Services

A third Galileo in-orbit validation (IOV) satellite reached its launch site in French Guiana today (August 7, 2012), where it will undergo preparations for a launch in October.
The spacecraft along with the fourth and final IOV satellite (yet to shipped) will be launched aboard a Soyuz ST-B rocket, joining the first two Galileo satellites placed in orbit last year.

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