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September 16, 2016

Air Force Disposes of Last GPS IIA Satellite

The U.S. Air Force’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS) at the 50th Space Wing, Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, has moved the longest-serving GPS satellite, space vehicle number (SVN) 23, into a disposal orbit several hundred miles above the operational GPS constellation.

The satellite, which was launched on November 26, 1990, had a rough start, the Air Force said. After early-orbit operations and initial stabilization in December 1990, SVN 23’s solar array stopped working.

September 16, 2016

GPS MGUE Program Nears Milestone B Decision

The program to develop M-code capable receivers for military equipment is poised to enter a new phase this fall as the GPS Directorate seeks approval to start the engineering activities that will lead, ultimately, to full production.

September 16, 2016

General John Hyten: Interview with U.S. Air Force Space Commander

Since Gen. John E. Hyten assumed leadership of Air Force Space Command in August 2014 he has been wrestling with a host of challenges including delays in the modernization programs for the GPS space segment and GPS military user equipment.

September 16, 2016

GPS Directorate's Whitney: No Immediate GPS OCX Work Stoppage

A funding shortfall will not halt work on the new GPS ground system this month, although a decision expected in the next two weeks may signal major changes in the program.

Increased personnel costs on the Global Positioning System Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) program had eaten up the fiscal year 2016 budget and were poised to force managers to stop work on September 15. The Pentagon had requested Congress to allow $39 million to be reprogrammed to bridge the gap but lawmakers left for the summer recess without approving the change.

September 14, 2016

DHS Continues to Test GNSS Timing for Critical Infrastructure

Because GPS and other GNSS are critical to the nation’s infrastructure, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is testing an augmentation system and developing new requirements to protect it, a DHS official told the U.S. Department of Transportations’s Civil GPS Service Interface Committee (CGSIC) meeting this week in Portland, Oregon.

August 31, 2016

Nunn-McCurdy Terms May Complicate GPS OCX Money Fix

Already running out of money and facing a shut down, the program to develop a new GPS ground system could see its funding tied up for more than a month, perhaps closer to two months, due to wrinkles linked to the Nunn-McCurdy breach declared for the program at the end of June.

August 30, 2016

UAS Rules Could Unleash Potential GPS Market

A new rule that took effect yesterday (August 29, 2016) eases U.S. limits on the commercial drone flights, unleashing a surging industry that depends in large measure on GPS for success.

The rule's provisions allow operators of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to proceed without having to obtain waivers or flight-by-flight permissions from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) — a process that had caused long delays and lost business.

August 26, 2016

Lockheed Martin Advances GPS Block III Testing

More than 300 engineers, technicians, and support personnel have been working on the GPS III program, including successfully completing space vehicle (SV) 01 testing, at Lockheed Martin’s processing facility near Denver.
The Air Force recently exercised contract options for Lockheed Martin to complete development of eight GPS III space vehicles (GPS III SVs 01 to 08). The eight vehicles are in various stages of assembly, integration and testing, according to the prime contractor for the next-generation spacecraft.

August 24, 2016

Federal Railroad Administration Announces Status Updates to GPS-Aided Collision Avoidance System

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) last week released a status update that calls for railroads to roll out Positive Train Control (PTC) technologies, which incorporates GNSS technology, as soon as possible. The update also underscores the Obama administration’s calls to provide more funding to assist commuter railroads in implementing PTC.

PTC uses GNSS, but mostly GPS, to prevent train-to-train collisions, high-speed derailments, and the unauthorized movement of trains into work zones.

August 16, 2016

GPS OCX to Halt Work September 15 unless Lawmakers Act

A lack of funds will force a shutdown in the development of the GPS new ground system on September 15 unless lawmakers act on a July request to redirect funds, according to the Air Force.

Although the doors likely would only be closed for a little over two weeks, a hiatus would add substantially to the total cost of the GPS Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) and further delay completion of the already behind-schedule program, the Pentagon has told lawmakers.

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