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November 8, 2013

FAA Releases ‘Roadmap’ for Integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems

In major step toward enabling unmanned aircraft to operate freely in the U.S. the federal government released a set of plans Thursday (November 7, 2013)on how it plans to integrate unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into the national airspace, including a policy to help protect the privacy of those living near drone test sites.

November 7, 2013

New Foundation Formed to Pursue eLoran as Backup for GPS

A new nonprofit has been launched to push for repurposing the United States’ old C-Loran infrastructure to support a new, privately funded Enhanced Loran (eLoran) service as a backup to GPS.

November 6, 2013

GAO Report on GPS Disruptions Faults DHS, DoT Efforts

A General Accountability Office (GAO) report on “GPS Disruptions” issued today (November 6, 2013) concludes that the Department of Transportation (DoT) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) need to improve their efforts to assess the associated risks and mitigate them.

The report comes nearly nine years after a National Security Policy Directive (NSPD-39) on U.S. Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Policy directed the agencies to develop a plan for detecting and mitigating GPS interference and develop a backup PNT capability.

November 5, 2013

Cloud-Based Sports App Wins 2013 European Satellite Navigation Competion

A cloud-based solution for analyzing and visualizing athletic training data on mobile devices has won this year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC).

November 1, 2013

U.S. Circuit Court Decision Broadens Requirement for Warrants in GPS-Aided Searches

A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recent decision to suppress evidence in a criminal case obtained by placing a GPS-based tracking unit on a suspect’s van appears to strengthen the requirement for police to obtain warrants before taking such measures.

November 1, 2013

GAO Report Highlights GPS Role in Vehicle Safety Apps

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on intelligent transportation system (ITS) technologies released today (November 1, 2013) identified concerns about GPS accuracy and relative positioning that could limit its use in vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) systems.

However, U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) officials responding to the GAO study expressed confidence that the quality of GPS receivers in today’s automobiles will be sufficient to support V2V safety applications.

November 1, 2013

Assured PNT: Army Links Smart Phones and GPS Devices

The Army is working on GPS equipment that would connect with a single, user-friendly device like a smart phone or through a single hub to reduce the number of devices a soldier has to carry and to facilitate software updates.

The work is part of a wide-ranging effort at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland to shift the focus away from having positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) capability in each device —such as a DAGR (Defense Advanced GPS Receiver) or range finder — connecting equipment into a single device that supplies the necessary PNT information.

October 31, 2013

FAA Loosens Rules for Personal Electronic Devices On Board Planes

Acting on a set of recommendations by an advisory committee, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today (October 31, 2013) the agency’s determination that airlines can safely expand passenger use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight.

New guidelines for the airlines will allow the use of PEDs, typically consumer electronbics ranging from tablet computers, e-readers, and GPS receivers to small devices such as MP3 players and electronic toys, even during takeoff and landing under normal conditions.

October 31, 2013

Budget Battle: GPS Program Funding Appears Solid

The GPS program appears well positioned to weather another round of budget cuts, although some contractors that support the program may not be so fortunate.

“I would expect GPS will be relatively protected (with) continued investment and modernization of the satellite constellation.” said Robert Levinson, a senior defense analyst for Bloomberg Government during an October 28 briefing.

“GPS is in fairly good shape,” confirmed an expert familiar with the Air Force’s budget.

October 30, 2013

Space-Based PNT NCO Director Retiring; New RITA Director Confirmed

After just a year in office, the leader of the organization that helps keep federal GPS activities in sync is retiring.

National Coordination Office (NCO) Director Jan Brecht-Clark, told Inside GNSS that her family convinced her it was a good time to make the move.

“My family has been talking to me about retiring while I still have my health,” she said, adding that she is looking forward to traveling.

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