May 5, 2009
Signal anomalies characterized by the U.S. Air Force as “out of family” transmissions will keep the latest GPS satellite from being declared healthy for months, if ever.
The report on space vehicle number (SVN) 49 by the GPS Wing’s chief engineer, Lt. Col. David Goldstein to the European Navigation Conference in Naples, Italy, on May 4 mixed bad news with glad.
Also known as Block IIR-20(M), the spacecraft carries the demonstration payload for the new civil GPS L5 signal. The March 24 launch probably represented the last chance to meet an International Telecommunications Union (ITU) deadline for securing primary rights to use of the RF band by GPS.
May 1, 2009
Officials from Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center’s GPS Wing have announced the release of a request for proposal (RFP) for Phase B of the Next Generation GPS Control Segment (OCX) contracts.
April 28, 2009
In his April 27 speech to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) annual meeting, President Barack Obama twice singled out the Global Positioning System as an example of the need for renewing the U.S. commitment to basic scientific research and education.
“The calculations of today’s GPS satellites are based on the equations that Einstein put to paper more than a century ago,” Obama said, having noted that “no one can predict what new applications will be born of basic research. . . .”
April 20, 2009
A proposal now before the European Parliament and Council of the European Union would complete the transformation of the European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) from the leading executive agency for the Galileo program into a diminished subsidiary of the European Commission (EC).
April 19, 2009
Prompted by a congressional footnote in the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act signed into law last month, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is soliciting public comment on American industry’s access to the Galileo program and related markets.
April 18, 2009
Launch of a second modernized Compass (Beidou 2) satellite on April 14 — this one a geostationary spacecraft — marks the return of China to its GNSS launch program two years after the initial venture into space.
Designated Compass G2 — reflecting the geostationary nature of its intended orbital position about 22,300 miles above the equator, the satellite lifted off at 16:16 UTC aboard a Long March 3C rocket from the Xichang launch base in southwestern China's Sichuan province, according to China’s state news agency Xinhua.
April 10, 2009
The GPS IIR-20(M) satellite successfully transmitted for the first time a GPS signal in the L5 frequency band today (April 10), according to the U.S. Air Force operators of the Global Positioning System. L5, the third civil GPS signal, will eventually support safety-of-life applications for aviation and provide improved availability and accuracy to users.
April 9, 2009
U.S. Air Force officials are moving quickly to turn on the new civil GPS L5 signal after lengthy delays due to technical problems had brought the program close to an International Telecommunications Union (ITU) deadline for transmitting on the frequency.
The Air Force plans to begin transmitting the signal at 5 a.m. (PDT) on April 10 using the Block II R-20(M) satellite launched March 24. An L5 signal demonstration is planned the same day, organized by the GPS Wing and SRI International. The L5 spectrum will be received and plotted at the SRI’s 150-foot “big dish” antenna facility in the hills over looking Stanford University, California.
March 26, 2009
Here's an interesting document: Preliminary observations on “The management of the Galileo programme’s development and validation phase,” adopted at its January 21–22 meeting by the European Court of Auditors (ECA).
If you're the kind of person who wakes up in a strange room after a night on the town and wonders how you got there, you’ll want to take in the full 50-page report and six addenda.
March 24, 2009
GPS program managers and users — especially the U.S. civil aviation community — can breathe a sign of relief following the successful launch Tuesday (March 24) of a satellite carrying a demonstration payload of the new L5 signal.
Built by the Lockheed Martin Company, the modernized Block II replenishment spacecraft, GPS IIR-20(M), is moving toward plane B, slot 2 to replace space vehicle number (SVN) 30. If all goes well, U.S. Air Force controllers expect to set the satellite healthy for navigation users worldwide next month.
Among other signals and capabilities, the IIR-20(M) will be the first to transmit the new GPS civil signal centered on 1176.45MHz (±12 MHz) within the protected aeronautical radionavigation service (ARNS) band. This so-called L5 signal will provide a second safety-of-life signal that meets the technical requirements for enabling aircraft to make precision landings in high multipath environments.