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April 5, 2016

China Launches BeiDou IGSO Spacecraft

With little fanfare or prior announcement, China launched another second-generation BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) satellite last week, the 22nd in the nation’s GNSS program.

The satellite launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan on March 29 local time on board a Long March-3A carrier rocket.

An inclined geosynchronous orbit (IGSO) spacecraft designated Beidou-2 IGSO-6, it is expected to operate at an altitude of about 22,000 miles (35,400 kilometers) with an inclination of about 55 degrees.

March 31, 2016

Gen. Hyten: Raytheon's OCX the Best Bet for New GPS Ground System

While acknowledging the fury over problems with the new GPS ground system, the head of Air Force Space Command told lawmakers this month that finishing the program with the current contractor was the best way forward.

That contactor, Raytheon, is years behind on the Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX), a project whose price tag may now top $4 billion.

March 30, 2016

Air Force, Army Reach for New GPS Technologies

The Air Force and the Army are looking for companies interested in helping advance a new generation of technology for GPS satellites, ground stations, and receivers.
 
Both military services have issued requests for information (RFIs), formal announcements through the Federal Business Opportunities website <FBO.gov> to gain insight into current industry capabilities and interest, as part of programs aimed at boosting overall positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) performance and dealing with issues such as jamming and spoofing.
 

March 16, 2016

Air Force Considers Shifting GPS III Ground Control to Enterprise Ground Services

As the contractor for the new GPS ground system works its way through a make-or-break 90-day evaluation period, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) is weighing whether it should look at leapfrogging past that program and shifting control of the newest GPS satellites to a new common ground system for Air Force space assets.

The Next-Generation Operational Control System or OCX, currently under development by Raytheon, is essential to integrating the GPS III satellites into the U.S. GNSS constellation and operating them at their full potential.

March 15, 2016

First GLONASS-K Satellite Enters Service

For the first time, a GLONASS-K next-generation satellite has begun providing on-orbit services for Russia's GNSS system.

March 15, 2016

PNT ExCom to Write Requirements for GPS Backup

Addressing a long-unfulfilled presidential mandate, the Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Executive Committee (ExCom) has taken on reponsibility for initiating a process to identify and develop requirements for a complementary national PNT, in effect, a backup system to GPS in case of outages from natural or man-made events.

March 15, 2016

GNSS Leaders Reveal Plans at Munich Summit

Representatives of the world’s GNSS providers outlined the current plans and progress of their systems at the 2016 Munich Satellite Navigation Summit in Germany.

BeiDou has entered its transition period from Phase II to Phase III, with test and validation of the next phase with its new signal structures and frequencies taking place through the second half of 2017, said Jun Shen, deputy director for International Research at the China Satellite Navigation Office. In the meantime, “there will be a coexisting of Phase II/III BeiDou signals.

March 13, 2016

DoT Seeks Receivers for Long-Awaited ABC Interference Tests

Federal testing is about to begin to determine how much interference GPS receivers can tolerate from their spectrum neighbors.

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.

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