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July 25, 2013

Safety Board Says Connected Vehicle Technology Should Be Required to Prevent Collisions

In a Tuesday (July 23, 2013) hearing on two fatal school bus/truck collisions, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended adoption of “connected vehicle technology” on all newly manufactured highway vehicles as a way to reduce such accidents.

Such collision-avoidance systems — similar to those used in civil aviation — would typically depend on real-time transmissions of the GNSS-derived locations of nearby vehicles to provide enhanced “situational awareness” to drivers.

July 22, 2013

GPS III Prototype Arrives at Cape Canaveral

Lockheed Martin has delivered a full-sized, functional prototype of the next generation GPS satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed (GNST) arrived at the Cape on July 19 where it will be used to test facilities and pre-launch processes in advance of the arrival of the first GPS III flight satellites, which will undergo similar testing. The first flight GPS III satellite is expected to arrive at Cape Canaveral in 2014, ready for launch by the U.S. Air Force in 2015.

July 17, 2013

FAA and Defense Department Work to Fix Civil GPS Funding

Federal officials are working to fill a funding shortfall nearly certain to occur next year given that both the House and Senate have cut an already halved budget request for GPS civil funding.

Sources confirm the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) are in talks about finding money to make up for the dramatic reduction. One source familiar with the situation said the FAA was searching its accounts for resources to address the loss.

July 17, 2013

GPS-Based Vehicle Crash-Prevention System Crafted to Protect Privacy

A new GPS-based technology designed to warn drivers in time to avoid collisions has anonymizing elements in its design to keep the location of vehicles private, according to the Department of Transportation (DoT).

DoT has focused a lot of effort on reducing motor vehicle accidents — a leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly 34,000 people died in collisions in 2010, the latest year for which data is available, according to the Centers for Disease Control. CDC estimates the lifetime costs of crash-related deaths and injuries in 2005 alone were $70 billion.

July 17, 2013

House Bill Presses FAA on UAS Privacy Role

Privacy concerns appear likely to continue slowing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) congressional mandate to integrate unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into the national airspace.

July 12, 2013

India Successfully Launches IRNSS-1A

India’s Space Research Organization (ISRO) reports that its first Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System satellite (IRNSS-1A), has reached geosynchronous orbit and all subsystems are operating normally.

The spacecraft was launched July 1 on board a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C22,  from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. This is the twenty third consecutively successful mission of PSLV.

July 12, 2013

Russia Pushes Ahead with Plans for GLONASS-M Launches, Satellite Build

Russia reportedly will launch two GLONASS-M satellites this summer to compensate for the loss of a trio of the nation’s GNSS spacecraft in a July 2 failure of a Proton launch with three GLONASS-Ms on board.

July 6, 2013

Premature Launch May Have Doomed GLONASS Satellites

A special commission conducting a criminal investigation into the failed attempt on Tuesday (July 2, 2013) to place three GLONASS satellites into orbit is looking at premature launch as a likely cause of the Proton-M rocket crash.

Citing an unnamed space industry source, the official RIA Novosti news agency said that the commission, headed by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, is also considering other possible scenarios surrounding the botched launch at the Baikonur space facility in Kazahkstan.

June 28, 2013

Congress Slashes Civil GPS Funding

In a set of decisions that could potentially slow GPS modernization both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees this week slashed funding for the civil community’s contribution to the GPS system from the Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) budget.

The House eliminated the entire amount of the White House budget request for $20 million, which is paid through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Senate cut a mere $5 million — 25 percent of what had been the requested.

June 28, 2013

Homeland Security's National Risk Estimate on GPS Disruption: Still a Lot of Unknowns

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released an abbreviated fact sheet and a summary report on its evaluation of the risks to U.S. critical infrastructure from GPS disruptions.

The unsurprising “bottom line,” as the public summary put it: “U.S. critical infrastructure sectors are increasingly at risk from a growing dependency on GPS for positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services. Such dependencies are not always apparent.”

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