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July 5, 2016

Federal Agencies Plan Shutdown of 37 Differential GPS Stations

The U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the Department of Transportation (DoT) released a Federal Register notice today (July 5, 2016) announcing a reduction of the Nationwide Differential Global Positioning System (NDGPS).

The planned reduction calls for the shutdown and decommissioning of 37 DGPS sites, leaving 46 operational sites available to users in coastal areas. Termination of the NDGPS broadcasts is scheduled to occur on August 5, 2016.

June 30, 2016

Army Plans Awards, Solicitations for Assured PNT with(out) GPS

The U.S. Army will soon release new contracts and a post-Milestone B solicitation as part of its shift to a system of systems approach for making sure warfighters have the position, navigation, and timing (PNT) information they need regardless of issues with getting the GPS signal.

The Assured PNT (APNT) approach incorporates multiple sensors and an open architecture into an integrated whole that is resilient and easy to update, explained Kevin Coggins, the direct reporting program manager for PNT.

June 30, 2016

White Paper, Press Conference Reveal China’s Current Plans for BeiDou Navigation System

A white paper published by the Chinese government earlier this month outlining the action plan for the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) and a press conference featuring the director of the BDS management office provided new details on the progress for China’s GNSS program.

June 30, 2016

Homeland Security, PNT ExCom Move on Backing Up GPS

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is moving forward to establish a backup for the position, navigation, and timing (PNT) information provided by GPS. This month the agency assumed the lead in a yearlong effort to specifically define the requirements for an alternative source of timing information to and released a solicitation for research to help protect critical infrastructure from timing disruption or spoofing.

June 30, 2016

Air Force Declares Nunn-McCurdy Breach on the New GPS Operational Control System

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James declared a critical Nunn-McCurdy breach on the GPS Next-Generation Operational Control System (OCX) today (June 30, 2016).

After a December 2015 Program “Deep Dive,” Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall placed the OCX program under significant Department of Defense (DoD) oversight with quarterly reviews.

June 30, 2016

Four-Satellite Launch Dispenser Ready for Europe's Galileo Ride on Ariane 5

A new dispenser for a modified Ariane 5 rocket, capable of carrier four satellites into middle Earth orbit, has passed an extended test campaign and approved for launch, removing a final hurdle for accelerating development of the Galileo constellation.

In development since 2012, the new launcher design evolved from the Ariane 5 ES (Evolution Storable) that is used to carry European Space Agency (ESA) automatic transfer vehicle (ATV) supply spacecraft into low Earth orbit.

June 30, 2016

Recently Launched GLONASS-M Becomes Operational

The most recently launched GLONASS-M satellite, (GC#753), was set healthy on Monday (June 27, 2016).

The satellite, designed and built by Academician M.F. Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems, was put into orbit on May 29. It replaces an eight-year-old satellite (GC#723) in orbital plane 2, slot 11. GC#723 has been placed in reserve status.

June 22, 2016

Senate Passes Defense Authorization Bill "Fencing Off" Funding for Next-Generation GPS Control System

The Senate approved defense authorization legislation last week before heading out for weekend campaigning. The measure contains a provision the White House said would further delay completion of the already overdue next-generation GPS control system (OCX) by 6 to 12 months.

Senators passed their version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 on June 16, defying the White House, which had said June 7 it would veto the bill.

June 15, 2016

Iridium-based System, Proposed GPS Backup, Incorporates Crypto Protections

A new satellite-based positioning and timing system now available from partners Iridium and Satelles incorporates layered security elements into a service that offers 20- to 50-meter unaided position accuracy worldwide and could serve as a GNSS backup, according to the companies.

The Satelles Location and Timing (STL) service, also offers microsecond timing accuracy, said Satelles CEO Michael O’Connor — and that can be improved with more advanced receivers.

June 15, 2016

China Places 23rd BeiDou Satellite into Orbit

China launched another BeiDou satellite on Sunday (June 12, 2016, local time) to support its GNSS constellation.

The satellite, launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, was taken into orbit by a Long March-3C carrier rocket. It is the 23rd satellite in the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), a new-generation BeiDou-2 spacecraaft, and the seventh geostationary Earth orbit satellite (GEO) in the BeiDou constellation.

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