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April 2, 2014

U.S. Air Force Authorizes Lockheed to Finish GPS III SVs 7 & 8

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin more than $245 million in contract options to complete production of its seventh and eighth GPS Block III satellites.

The two space vehicles (SVs 07–08) received initial funding under a February 2013 long-lead material contract for the Air Force's second set of four satellites, GPS III SV 05–08. Similar to this current award announced yesterday (April 1, 2014), the Air Force exercised an option to complete production of SVs 05–06 in December 2013.

April 2, 2014

GLONASS Suffers Temporary Systemwide Outage; Multi-GNSS Receiver Overcomes Problem (updated)

Just when they thought it was safe to go back into space . . . .

The Russian GLONASS system, which had appeared to be recovering from a series of organizational and technical problems in recent years, appears to have suffered a systemic disruption during the past 24 hours — beginning just past 1 a.m. Moscow time on April 2 (UTC+4) — 6 p.m. EDT on Tuesday (April 1, 2014).

April 1, 2014

FAA Issues Call for UAS Center of Excellence Contractor

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced plans to establish within the next year a Center of Excellence (COE) for its Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Research, Engineering, and Development Program.

An FAA notice published last Friday (March 28, 2014) said that the agency will launch a competitive search for a team to lead the initiative as part of the FAA’s effort to integrate UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS). A draft solicitation will be available on or before April 18.

March 31, 2014

Munich Summit 2014 Stages Comeback as Europe’s Preeminent GNSS Event

After an organizational hiccup led to its cancellation last year, the “reloaded” Munich Satellite Navigation Summit 2014 successfully re-established the event as Europe’s leading forum for GNSS policy dialog.

March 31, 2014

Senator Franken Re-Introduces Location Privacy Bill; GAO Report Raises Concerns for In-Car Apps

Less than 90 days after government watchdogs reported drivers are not being clearly informed about privacy risks posed by vehicle-location data, the head of the U.S. Senate’s privacy committee announced legislation to give consumers more control over how information about their whereabouts is collected and used.

March 31, 2014

FAA Rules Out Use of Military Airspace for UAV Tests

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) are enforcing limitations on who can use military airspace, a move that will curtail the number of possible places researchers can fly tests with unmanned aircraft.

March 30, 2014

New GLONASS-M Satellite Begins Commissioning

A modernized GLONASS satellite launched on last week has begun its commissioning phase in slot 18 of the Russian GNSS constellations orbital plane 3. It was the first successful GLONASS launch since the loss of three spacecraft in the crash of a Proton rocket last July.

Telemetry communications were established shortly after the GLONASS-M spacecraft (designated GLONASS number 754) reached its orbit following its launch March 23 (2:54 a.m. Moscow time on March 24), from Plesetsk space center on a Soyuz-2.1b rocket.

March 30, 2014

ESNC 2014 GNSS Innovation Competition Launches at ENC 2014

The European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) 2014 will officially kick off on April 15 at the European Navigation Conference (ENC) in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, but the 11th round of the annual event opens Tuesday (April 1).

Launched by Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen in 2004 with three partner regions, the ESNC has grown into a network of GNSS innovation and expertise with more than 20 regions taking part worldwide. Since 2004, the ESNC has received almost 2,400 submissions from 4,263 teams and named 204 award winners.

March 24, 2014

EGNOS Capability Enhanced with Addition of New Generation of Satellite Transponders

On Saturday (March 22, 2014) two geostationary L-band transponders, GEO-2s, were successfully launched on board the SES ASTRA 5B satellite from the European Space Port in Kourou, French Guiana.

The new generation transponders will provide higher accuracy positioning signals to both civil and professional users of EGNOS-enabled receivers and ensure the continuity and quality of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) open service and safety-of-life services for the next 15 years, according to the European GNSS Agency (GSA).

March 18, 2014

FCC’s New E911 Location Requirements Could Boost Positioning Services in General

Rules proposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to improve the ability to locate cell phone users placing emergency calls from indoors could affect firms providing chipsets and location-focused infrastructure as well as phone companies.

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