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November 1, 2013

Assured PNT: Army Links Smart Phones and GPS Devices

The Army is working on GPS equipment that would connect with a single, user-friendly device like a smart phone or through a single hub to reduce the number of devices a soldier has to carry and to facilitate software updates.

The work is part of a wide-ranging effort at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland to shift the focus away from having positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) capability in each device —such as a DAGR (Defense Advanced GPS Receiver) or range finder — connecting equipment into a single device that supplies the necessary PNT information.

October 31, 2013

FAA Loosens Rules for Personal Electronic Devices On Board Planes

Acting on a set of recommendations by an advisory committee, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today (October 31, 2013) the agency’s determination that airlines can safely expand passenger use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight.

New guidelines for the airlines will allow the use of PEDs, typically consumer electronbics ranging from tablet computers, e-readers, and GPS receivers to small devices such as MP3 players and electronic toys, even during takeoff and landing under normal conditions.

October 31, 2013

Budget Battle: GPS Program Funding Appears Solid

The GPS program appears well positioned to weather another round of budget cuts, although some contractors that support the program may not be so fortunate.

“I would expect GPS will be relatively protected (with) continued investment and modernization of the satellite constellation.” said Robert Levinson, a senior defense analyst for Bloomberg Government during an October 28 briefing.

“GPS is in fairly good shape,” confirmed an expert familiar with the Air Force’s budget.

October 30, 2013

Space-Based PNT NCO Director Retiring; New RITA Director Confirmed

After just a year in office, the leader of the organization that helps keep federal GPS activities in sync is retiring.

National Coordination Office (NCO) Director Jan Brecht-Clark, told Inside GNSS that her family convinced her it was a good time to make the move.

“My family has been talking to me about retiring while I still have my health,” she said, adding that she is looking forward to traveling.

October 22, 2013

2012 Delta IV Launch Investigation Results Delay Fifth GPS Block IIF

Planned launch of the fifth GPS Block II-F satellite on a Delta IV rocket has been delayed twice and now has no firm date for a new attempt.

Officials with the United Launch Alliance (ULA) — a 50-50 joint venture owned by Lockheed Martin and Boeing — attributed the delay to recent results of the second phase of an investigation into an anomaly that affected the second stage of a Delta IV GPS launch in October 2012.

October 17, 2013

GSA Releases New Report on GNSS Markets: 7 Billion Devices, $478 Billion Revenues by 2022

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has released its third market report, which predicts an installed base of 7 billion devices worldwide by 2022 — almost one for every person on the planet.

October 16, 2013

“Indoor GPS” Technologies Emerge as Retailers’ Interest in Tracking Soars

New technologies are emerging to fill the gap left by GNSS services whose signals cannot penetrate indoor spaces. Using everything from triangulation and flickering light bulbs to the Earth’s magnetic field, start-up companies are lining up to help brick-and-mortar retailers beat back their online competition with location-inspired service.

October 16, 2013

Finally Funded, GPS Adjacent-Band Compatibility Study Now Delayed by Shutdown

Although delayed for a year for lack of funding — and delayed yet again by the government shutdown — research to help set GPS-protecting interference standards appears poised to get underway.

The ABC or Adjacent-Band Compatibility Assessment is part of a broad plan to draft spectrum interference standards covering all GPS civil receivers. The approach would give potential users of frequencies neighboring the GPS band clear limits so they can test and plan accordingly.

October 11, 2013

Russia Names New Head to Space Agency in Wake of GLONASS Launch Failure

Former Deputy Defense Minister Oleg Ostapenko will head up Russia’s Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), replacing Vladimir Popovkin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said yesterday (October 10, 2013).

Popovkin was dismissed from his post Thursday by a government decree, according to a report by Novosti RIA, the Russian information agency.

October 1, 2013

Harm Claim Thresholds May Be Coming for GNSS

A group of top frequency experts recommended last week that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) conduct a pilot test of the concept of “harm claim thresholds” (HCTs), an approach that requires receiver manufacturers to build devices capable of withstanding a predetermined level of interference from users in adjacent frequencies.

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