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December 2, 2011

China launches 10th Compass Beidou-2 Navigation Satellite into Geosynchronous Orbit

China launched its 10th Compass/ BeiDou-2 GNSS satellite this morning (December 2, 2011). This is the third Compass satellite launched this year and the fifth placed into an inclined geosynchronous orbit.

According to Xinhua, China's official news source, the spacecraft went up on a Long March 3A launcher at 5:07 A.M. local time from Xichang launch center in Sichuan province.

December 1, 2011

European Commission Rolls Out Free Software for EGNOS Developers

The European Commission has introduced free, downloadable and ready-to-use software tools to help anyone develop enhanced location and timing applications that harness the power of Europe’s European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).

EGNOS, which began operations earlier this year, provides real-time satellite-based corrections and integrity monitoring for GPS satellite signals.

November 29, 2011

Russia Adds Another Satellite to GLONASS Constellation

Russia launched a single GLONASS-M satellite into orbit on Monday (November 28, 2011) from the Plesetsk space center north of Moscow.

This is the fifth and the last launch of a GLONASS satellite this year, according to the Russian Federal Space Agency.

Typically, Russia launches three of the modernized satellites at a time on Proton rockets, including three GLONASS-Ms sent up November 4 from Baikonur, Kazahkstan, and placed in orbital plane 1. Monday’s launch used the smaller Soyuz rocket to place the satellite into plane 3.

November 23, 2011

FCC Supplies FOIA Data Dump for LightSquared/GPS Interference Issue

[Updated November 25 2011] For those wondering what to do on Black Friday ...

In another holiday special, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced creation of a public web portal for documents related to the LightSquared/GPS interference issue that will , in the agency’s words, “provide ready access to publicly available documents and other responsive documents not otherwise exempt from release under the FOIA [ Freedom of Information Act].”

November 17, 2011

GPS Timing Used in Experiment to Measure ‘Faster Than Light’ Particles

No sooner had GPS positioning helped validate key aspects of Einstein’s general theory of relativity in the Gravity Probe-B program than GPS timing has been cited as helping bring his special theory of relativity into doubt.

At issue is the so-called OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus) experiment, inaugurated in 2006 with the main goal of studying the rare transformation (oscillation) of muon neutrinos into tau neutrinos.

November 10, 2011

Homeland Security Studies Risks to GPS, Prompts Spoof-Proof Receiver Proposal

Although a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report on the risks posed by GPS disruptions has yet to be released, the analysis has inspired a proposal to create receivers capable of self-diagnosing spoofing attempts.

“The receiver is the first line of defense,” Logan Scott, president of LS Consulting, told members of the National Space-based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Advisory Board this week.

November 8, 2011

GPS Coalition To FCC: LightSquared Must Not Use Upper 10-MHz Band

[Update November 9 2011] In an ex parte filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on November 8, a leading GPS advocacy group has asked that the agency “promptly rule” that LightSquared not be permitted to pursue high-powered terrestrial operations in the upper Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) band adjacent to the GPS L1 band.

November 4, 2011

Galileo IOV Satellites Handed Over to German Aerospace Center

[Updated November 8, 2011] Europe’s first two Galileo satellites have reached their final operating orbits, opening the way for activating and testing their navigation payloads.

November 4, 2011

Russia Launches Three More GLONASS-Ms

Russia launched a Proton-M rocket carrying three GLONASS-M satellites from the Baikonur space center at 16:51 Moscow time [12:51 GMT] on Friday (November 4, 2011) after a 24-hour delay due to technical reasons, a spokesman for the Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said.

November 3, 2011

Grassley to Block FCC Appointments over Agency's Approach to LightSquared/GPS Issue

Fed up with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) ignoring his repeated requests for information about the agency’s fast-tracking of the LightSquared broadband project, Sen. Chuck Grassley said today (November 3, 2011) that he will hold up the two pending nominees for FCC commissioner positions.

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