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May 17, 2014

Sixth GPS IIF Spacecraft Launches

On Friday (May 16, 2014) the U. S. Air Force successfully launched the sixth Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellite on board a United Launch Alliance Delta IV launch vehicle. The launch took place at 8:03 EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The GPS IIF generation of satellites, built by The Boeing Corporation, provides greater navigational accuracy through improvements in atomic clock technology, a more resilient signal for commercial aviation and safety-of-life applications and a longer design life of 12 years.

May 8, 2014

ESA GNSS Summer School Offers Technical and Business Courses

The European Space Agency (ESA) International Summer School on GNSS 2014 take place July 21–31 on the campus of the Technical University of Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Held in conjunction with the European Commission Joint Research Center’s Summer School on GNSS, the program is open to graduate students (with a first university degree), Ph.D. candidates, early-stage researchers, and young professional seeking to broaden their knowledge.

May 6, 2014

FAA Authorizes UAS Flights at Alaska Test Site

On Monday (May 5, 2014), the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that the University of Alaska’s unmanned aircraft system (UAS) test site has become operational — the second of six test organizations selected to take part in the congressionally mandated UAS in the National Airspace System (NAS) initiative that the agency is leading.

April 30, 2014

Pentagon Seeks to Partner for Access to Other GNSS Signals

The U.S. military is moving toward using the signals of other satellite navigation constellations to help ensure access to positioning and timing information and to potentially thwart spoofing.

The impending shift came to light in remarks made by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III during a talk last week (April 23, 2014) at the National Press Club.

April 30, 2014

European Officials Consider Galileo Mandate for Mobile Devices

Perhaps taking a page of Russia’s playbook for mandating use of GLONASS in certain equipment, European officials are looking into the possibility of requiring the addition of Galileo capability to mobile phones and other device and platforms.

As it has become clear that the European GNSS will be the third or fourth GNSS available — after GPS, GLONASS, and probably BeiDou — the European Union’s executive body, the European Commission, is exploring non-market strategies to increase adoption of Galileo by manufacturers and users.

April 30, 2014

Second IRNSS Satellite Reaches Orbital Location

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has reported that the second inclined geosynchronous orbit (IGSO) satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) has reached its intended orbital location and is operating normally.

April 30, 2014

Key GPS/PNT Official Teri Takai Leaving DoD

Teri Takai, the Department of Defense’s chief information officer (DoD CIO) announced April 28 that she would be leaving at the end of this week. She is the top advisor to the secretary of defense on navigation and timing plus a host of other subjects including telecommunications, satellite communications, and spectrum issues.

April 24, 2014

NANU Alerts GPS Users to Start of L2C/L5 CNAV Messages

GPS Block IIR-M and IIF satellites began transmitting CNAV messages on the L2C and L5 signals, on Monday (April 28, 2014).

In a Notice Advisory to NAVSTAR Users (NANU), Air Force Space Command announced that it would begin implementing the civil navigation Message Types (MTs) 10 and 11 (with satellite ephemerides), 30 (satellite clock data, and corrections for ionospheric and group delay), and 33 (parameters related to correlating coordinated universal time (UTC-USNO) time with GPS system time). MT12 (reduced almanac) will not be broadcast at this time.

April 16, 2014

Wyoming UAS Test Site Plans Unravel in the Face of Military Airspace Limits

Newly enforced limits on using military airspace to test unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are rattling test range managers across the country and appear to have caused at least one operation to drop its plans for an independent test site for unmanned vehicles.  

April 16, 2014

At ENC 2014: A GNSS Wake Up Call for Europe

Among the key topics to come out of this year’s European Navigation Conference (ENC 2014) in Rotterdam is how safe — or unsafe — we really are, and who in Europe cares. The answer is, a lot of people care, but almost no one can do anything about it.

Professor David Last, strategic advisor at the General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK & Ireland, made the case before the conference had even started, at the pre-conference “Resilient PNT Forum.”

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