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October 16, 2014

Anatomy of a Rescue: the Galileo Satellites

Well, the good news is that the European GNSS program has recovered and stabilized the condition of its first two two full operational capability (FOC) satellites, which had been delivered into incorrect orbits following their August 22 launch.

October 9, 2014

European Commission GSA Sign Agreement on Galileo Service Provision

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) and the European Commission (EC) have concluded an agreement that delegates a range of exploitation tasks for Galileo to the GSA, providing a framework and budget for the development of services and operations through 2021.

The signing of the Galileo Exploitation Delegation Agreement serves as an initial step towards the full Galileo Exploitation Phase.

October 8, 2014

Arianespace Inquiry Identifies Source of Galileo Launch Anomaly; Next Attempt Could Come in December

In a report issued Tuesday (October 7, 2014), an Independent Inquiry Board formed to analyze the cause of the August 22 launch anomaly that placed two Galileo into the wrong orbits has concluded that frozen fuel lines caused a misfiring of attitude control thrusters on the launcher’s Fregat module.

According to the report, the problem can be remedied on the rockets in time for another launch in December, much sooner than some observers had speculated.

September 30, 2014

India Space Officials Release IRNSS ICD

A signal-in-space (SIS) interface control document (ICD) for the standard positioning service (SPS) of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is available for download from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) website.

September 26, 2014

FAA Begins Opening Airspace to Unmanned Aircraft as NextGen, ADS-B Draw Fresh Scrutiny

Aviation officials Thursday (September 25, 2014) for the first time approved the use of unmanned aircraft for commercial filming in the United States, opening the door to what is expected to be a slow-building gold rush to the skies.

Six companies received exemptions from the existing rules, which generally ban the commercial use of unmanned aerial systems or UAS. The exemptions were granted to RC Pro Productions Consulting LLC dba Vortex Aerial, Aerial MOB LLC, Astraeus Aeria, HeliVideo Productions LLC, Pictorvision Inc., and Snaproll Media LLC.

September 18, 2014

GPS IIF-7 Successfully Launched; Signal Set Healthy

[Updated September 18, 2014] The U.S. Air Force set GPS satellite SVN-68/PRN-09, launched on August 2, to healthy and usable last night (September 17, 2014). This brings the number of satellites transmitting the L2C signal to 14 and those transmitting the L5 signal to 07. The next GPS-IIF satellite, IIF-8/SVN-69, is tentatively scheduled for launch on Oct 29.

September 18, 2014

Falling Prices Will Spur Innovation, Competition in High-Precision GNSS Market

The high-precision GNSS industry should expect to see industry consolidation and a scramble for new markets and innovations as prices for high-end chips and modules continue to slide, experts told attendees at a ION GNSS+ panel discussion in Tampa, Florida, last week (September 11, 2014).

The falling prices could strain R&D budgets, they noted, but could also create opportunity as high-end receivers come within reach of emerging industries like self-driving cars, unmanned aerial vehicles, and are even incorporated into consumer products.

September 16, 2014

ESA Outlines Efforts to Rescue Wayward Galileo Satellites

The European Space Agency (ESA) released dramatic illustrations today (September 16, 2014) of the orbital locations of the two errant Galileo spacecraft launched on August 22, the intended orbit, and the locations of four In-Orbit Validation (IOV) satellites.

September 16, 2014

Harold Martin Returns to PNT NCO as Director

Harold W. "Stormy" Martin III will be the new director of the National Coordination Office (NCO) for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT), the focal point for federal agencies working out GPS policy issues.

Martin was the deputy director of the NCO and an Air Force colonel until this summer when he retired from the military. He will succeed Jan Brecht-Clark, who retired at the end of 2013. His start date as director has not been set.

September 15, 2014

Move to Allow GNSS-Interfering Pseudolites Emerges in Europe

Two European proposals to allow pseudolites in the protected frequencies used by GPS and Galileo could soon be adopted, creating a potential interference risk to GNSS receivers and hampering efforts to protect satellite navigation spectrum, experts say.

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