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September 16, 2015

Another Successful Launch, But Pressure Still on for Galileo

With a successful September 10/11 launch under its belt, the Galileo program continues to move in the right direction, but proponents should be cautious about overstating the rate of progress, lest too-hopeful forecasts come back to bite them (again).

The September 11 European Space Agency (ESA) press release featured a headline proclaiming that 10 Galileo satellites are now in orbit, and while technically that may be true, it bears considering whether the 10 satellites in question are all they’re cracked up to be.

September 16, 2015

Military Receivers: Air Force Wants Foreign GNSS Capability

The GPS Directorate wants industry to more quickly develop innovative user equipment that integrates both the modernized GPS signals and signals from international constellations like Galileo.

“In the future,” said the organization’s new director, Col. Steve Whitney, “it’s going to be important that our industry partners and the Directorate investigate ways to pull in these new signals — and that includes some of the non-GPS signals — into our user equipment.”

September 11, 2015

ESA Launches Two Galileo Satellites

Two Galileo satellites were carried into space today (September 10, 2015) with a successful launch at 10:08 p.m. (EDT) ((02:08 GMT on September 11) from the Soyuz Launch Complex at the European spaceport in French Guiana.

September 10, 2015

GAO: OCX Problems Threaten GPS Constellation

A new federal watchdog report released yesterday (September 9, 2015) questions the outlook for the still-developing GPS ground control system saying the Pentagon may not fully understand the true cause of ongoing problems in a program where further delays “may likely pose significant risks to sustaining the GPS constellation and delivering GPS capability.”

September 9, 2015

DoT Hastens GNSS Receiver Testing for Adjacent Band Compatibility Assessment

Federal officials have released a draft of their plan to determine the amount of interference satellite navigation receivers can tolerate from users in neighboring frequencies. The tests, proposed after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) froze a controversial wireless broadband system, would accelerate research on GNSS receivers that process signals from multiple satellite constellations.

August 31, 2015

Pair of Galileo Satellites, GPS Block IIF Approach Launch Date

Europe’s latest Galileo satellites are fully fueled and ready to be attached to the upper stage of the Soyuz rocket that will carry them into space next month.

Galileo satellites 9 and 10 are due to launch at 02:08 GMT on September 11 (04:08 CEST; 11:08 p.m. local time, September 10) from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

August 31, 2015

LightSquared Launches New GPS Receiver Tests

LightSquared’s proposed GPS receiver tests are relying on an outdated standard of GPS accuracy, a choice some experts suggest is a maneuver aimed at dramatically lowering the bar the would-be wireless broadband company has to meet for showing noninterference to GPS signals.

August 20, 2015

Alibaba, China Miltary Supplier Join Forces for BeiDou-Aided LBS JV

Alibaba, China’s e-commerce counterpart to Amazon, has formed a joined venture with state-owned China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO), the leading arms and equipment supplier for nation’s military forces, to provide location-based services (LBS) based on the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).

August 19, 2015

Federal Agencies Move to Close Most NDGPS Sites

A Federal Register notice published yesterday (August 18, 2015) seeking comment on plans to shut down a large portion of the Nationwide Differential GPS (NDGPS) network marks the effective end of a program that spurred a hard-fought controversy in the era of Selective Availability (SA).

August 17, 2015

Ultra-wideband Re-emerges as a GNSS Interference Issue

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is weighing a request to waive spectrum rules for a new ultra-wideband (UWB) device that would operate across a wide swath of frequencies including those used by satellite navigation. The proposal has prompted a call for a wider reconsideration of ultra-wideband limits, a suggestion opposed by the GPS community.

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