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March 10, 2016

India Successfully Launches IRNSS 1F into Orbit

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced the successful launch today (March 10, 2016) of the sixth satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).

IRNSS-1F lifted off at 4:01 p.m. IST from the Sriharikota rocket port in Andhra Pradesh on board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C32). The 1,425-kilograpm spacecraft will be placed in geostationary orbit at 32.5 degrees East longitude.

February 29, 2016

ESA Initiative Seeks to Boost GNSS Applications in European Rail Network

The European Space Agency (ESA) has launched a new initiative to support space-based enhancements to Europe’s railway network.

Space4Rail will highlight ESA funding programs that could support the use of GNSS in rail applications while raising awareness of the added value that space systems can deliver.

February 29, 2016

In Push for FCC Action Ligado Releases Some GPS Receiver Test Data

Ligado Networks, the enterprise formerly known as LightSquared, released partial results from their tests of GPS receivers last week, a step one expert suggested might be aimed at easing a political decision to move the project forward before the completion of an ongoing federal interference study.

February 29, 2016

U.S. Administration, Congress Continue to Underfund Civil GPS Signal Monitoring

The civil GPS community is facing a significant federal funding cut in the midst of programmatic shifts and political squalls that make the long-term outlook murkier than usual.

President Obama’s recently released 2017 budget proposal calls for $847.362 million in Department of Defense (DoD) funds but only $10 million in Department of Transportation (DoT) funds to sustain and modernize the civil GPS services, including monitoring of civil GPS signals.

February 26, 2016

Early Launch for Galileo Satellite Duo

Europe’s Galileo program has advanced the schedule for its 2016 satellite launches. Another pair of Galileo navigation satellites is scheduled for launch by Soyuz rocket in May, ahead of a quartet on an Ariane 5 in the autumn, bringing the Galileo system a step closer to operational use.

The European Commission asked the European Space Agency (ESA) to look into the feasibility of a Soyuz launch in the first half of the year to speed up the deployment of the constellation and to increase its robustness for delivering initial services.

February 23, 2016

Fate of OCX Program May Be Decided within a Few Months

A decision on cancelling at least some of the modernized GPS ground control system contract could be made within a matter of months and certainly before President Obama leaves office, the Pentagon’s senior acquisition official said today (February 23, 2016).

February 15, 2016

GPS III Budget Slashed as Air Force Shifts Money to Fix Delayed OCX

With a stopgap fix under contract and a bump-up in next year's budget request on the table the Air Force appears intent on sticking with its plan to continue work on a new GPS ground system despite dismay over repeated delays.  

The White House has asked for $393.3 million for the Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) for fiscal year 2017 (FY17). Though that number is a 12 percent increase over the $350.2 million approved for FY16, it is effectively a placeholder and may grow.

February 10, 2016

Former GPS Adversary LightSquared Rebrands as Ligado Networks

LightSquared Inc. today (February 10, 2016) announced a change of name to Ligado Networks.

The Reston, Virginia–based company described the Ligado as “a new brand that signals the company’s future vision of deploying its mid-band spectrum to deliver next-generation connectivity while also conveying the company’s heritage as a network service operator providing satellite connectivity throughout the U.S. and Canada.”

February 8, 2016

Russia Launches First GLONASS-M in More Than a Year

In its first GLONASS-M launch in more than a year, Russia lifted a satellite into orbit yesterday (3:21 a.m. Moscow time, February 7, 2016) from the Pletsetsk Cosmodrome, after being postponed from December.

GLONASS-M #51 (GLONASS constellation designation #751) will replace a 10-year-old satellite (GC#714) that ceased operations last October in slot 17, orbital plane 3 of the constellation.

February 5, 2016

50th GPS Satellite, Last Block IIF Launches Successfully

The U.S. Air Force and its mission partners successfully launched the 12th Boeing-built GPS IIF satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) from Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, at 8:38 a.m. EST today (February 5, 2016).
 

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