GPS

November 15, 2018

FCC Poised to Approve Broad Use of Galileo in U.S.

UPDATED: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Nov. 15 unanimously approved waivers allowing the use of the Galileo E1 and E5 signals for non-federal purposes in the U.S. and denied the E6 signal waiver request. Approving the E6 waiver “could constrain our future spectrum management for non-Federal operations in the U.S.” the FCC wrote in the draft order document released ahead of the meeting.

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By Dee Ann Divis
November 13, 2018

International Technical Symposium on Navigation and Timing Held This Week in Toulouse, France

The International Technical Symposium on Navigation and Timing (ITSNT) is an annual event organized by CNES (Centre national d’études spatiales) and ENAC (Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile) for professionals and researchers working with or interested in navigation and timing technologies and their use. This year’s event is taking place this week, Nov. 13-16, in Toulouse, France, on the campus of ENAC.
The event is composed of two types of sessions:

  • Invited Guest” sessions: special guests are invited by the scientific committee to give a presentation related to the generic topic of the session. Typically, there are four guest speakers per session, and the session ends with a round table.
  • “Peer Reviewed Paper”sessions: the presenters of these sessions are selected by the scientific committee based on a call for abstract

The ITSNT also provides a great environment for networking and visiting the sponsors’ exhibition stands. The symposium includes tutorials given by some of the invited guest speakers on their topic of excellence. The full program can be viewed here: http://www.itsnt.fr/en/programme/programme/5

Key elements for the ITSNT include:

  • International event
  • A high quality and recognized scientific committee
  • Technical presentations on hot topics related to navigation and timing
  • Internationally recognized guest speakers
  • Selective call for abstract
  • Round tables
  • Exhibition area
  • Networking
  • Tutorials

Topics of Interest for ITSNT include:

• Autonomous machines (air and land) 
• Deep learning for navigation

• Innovative Vision, Radar, LiDAR navigation 
• Innovative Antennas and RF systems

• Cooperative navigation • Multi-antenna GNSS

• New hybridization and integration structures (innovative combination of any of: GNSS, precise GNSS, video, IMU, LiDAR, radar, odometer, magnetometer)

• Low-cost carrier phase positioning • PNT Resilience (interference, spoofing)

• Spectrum management 
• UAS Traffic Management (UTM)

• Navigation with Signals of Opportunity (SoOp)
 • Augmentation Systems (SBAS, GBAS, ARAIM)

• Multiconstellation Multifrequency GNSS
 • PNT and the natural environment

• New Integrity schemes for non-aeronautical navigation 
• Timing • GNSS Signal Processing

By Inside GNSS

Garmin Refreshes Popular Handheld GPSMAP Series

Garmin International recently announced two additions to its popular outdoor GPS handheld series – the GPSMAP 66s and the GPSMAP 66st. The GPSMAP 66 handhelds can log raw measurements in RINEX form. These updated premium handhelds bring expanded wireless connectivity, direct-to-device access to BirdsEye Satellite imagery and a larger 3-inch sunlight-readable color display. The GPSMAP 66st offers preloaded topographic maps for the United States and Canada.

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By Inside GNSS
November 12, 2018

Garmin’s Instinct GPS Watch Features Multi-GNSS Support

Garmin International, Inc., has launched Instinct, a strong and durable GPS watch with built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter plus multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) support and wrist-based heart rate. In addition to key GPS data, ABC and heart rate sensors, Instinct includes built-in sports apps, smart connectivity and wellness data.

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By Inside GNSS
November 8, 2018

NavtechGPS Offering GNSS Operations for Engineers Course at ESA/ESTEC

NavtechGPS is offering a training seminar later month titled Course 336: GNSS Operations for Engineers at the European Space Agency (ESA/ESTEC) in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

This 3-day course offers a comprehensive introduction to GPS/GNSS and DGPS technology, system concepts, design, operation, implementation and applications. Detailed information on the GPS signal, its processing by the receiver, and the techniques by which GPS obtains position, velocity and time will be covered, together with a full day on differential GPS.

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By Inside GNSS
November 7, 2018

Iridium Urges the FCC to Rescind Ground-Network Rule Ligado Relies On

Iridium is asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to rescind rules essential to Ligado Networks’ proposal to use its satellite frequencies to support a ground-based network for applications like 5G wireless service and connectivity for driverless cars and drones.

The Ancillary Terrestrial Components (ATC) rules were initially adopted in 2003 then changed in 2005 and again over the years to permit satellite firms to build a limited number of ground stations or ATCs to enable them to reach customers indoors or in difficult-to-serve environments like large city centers.

“The ATC concept was pretty straight forward — to enhance the business model and expand the reach of satellite systems (think urban canyons), in certain spectrum bands,” wrote former FCC commissioner Kathleen Abernathy, who is regulatory counsel to Iridium at Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP, in a November 6 opinion piece on insidesources.com “The FCC voted to allow satellite companies to integrate an ancillary terrestrial component into their service. In other words, satellite licensees would be permitted to design a service offering that would combine satellite capabilities with terrestrial wireless service accessed on a single handheld device. Spectrum zoned for satellite service would now be available for terrestrial use as a supplement to the satellite coverage.”

Ligado’s ATC-based proposal has gone through several iterations but has consistently raised alarms in the GPS community after tests showed such a network would interfere with the operation of GPS receivers.

The FCC is now examining the rules as part of a larger effort to evaluate and update rules pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The Act addresses regulations that “have, or might have, a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.”

The Commission is evaluating a long list of rules adopted in 2005 and 2006. In weighing whether to continue, change or rescind a particular rule the FCC is to weigh:

(a) The continued need for the rule;

(b) The nature of complaints or comments from the public concerning the rule;

(c) The complexity of the rule;

(d) The extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other federal rules and, to the extent feasible, with state and local governmental rules; and

(e) The length of time since the rule has been evaluated or the degree to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the area affected by the rule.

“When it comes to the world of wireless spectrum, the FCC is charged with managing this scarce resource and the agency is constantly searching for new ideas to maximize the benefits and value of our limited airwaves,” said Abernathy, who served as a Commissioner and was part of the ATC decision-making. “…As policymakers, sometimes great enthusiasm for a new approach is met with the reality that an idea is too complex or the economics just don’t work. When that happens and the marketplace speaks, regulators need to listen.”

The ATC rules were adopted to supplement terrestrial service to augment the reach of satellite networks,” wrote Iridium. They have “resulted in a total of exactly zero ATC deployments, multiple bankruptcies, costly litigation, and countless waivers and rulemaking requests producing substantial work for the FCC and other federal government stakeholders with no countervailing benefits.

“Sometimes regulations are simply a mistake,” continued Iridium. “When this occurs, the FCC should correct the mistake. While well-intentioned, the ATC rules have not worked, and cannot work as envisioned. They should be rescinded.”

Inside GNSS reached out to Ligado for comment but did not receive a response as of press time. The proposal can be found in FCC Dockets 18-31 and 16-131. The dockets can be found by visiting the search page here .

 

 

By Dee Ann Divis
November 1, 2018

Harris Corp. Delivers Sixth GPS III Satellite Navigation Payload

Harris Corporation has provided Lockheed Martin with its sixth of 10 advanced navigation payloads contracted for the U.S. Air Force’s GPS III satellite program, the company announced today.

The GPS III navigation payload features a Mission Data Unit (MDU) with a unique 70-percent digital design that links atomic clocks, radiation-hardened processors and powerful transmitters – enabling signals three times more accurate than those on current GPS satellites. The payload also boosts signal power, which increases jamming resistance by eight times and helps extend the satellite’s lifespan.

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By Inside GNSS

Criminal Investigation Underway in GPS Jamming Incident That Crashed Drones, Caused HK$1M in Damage

More than 40 drones performing in a professionally organized light show fell from the sky in Hong Kong Saturday after the GPS signal they were using was jammed. The incident, which caused some HK$1 million in damage (U.S. $127,500), is now under criminal investigation.

The firm Sky Magic, which uses a customized fleet of performance dronesto do indoor and outdoor light shows, confirmed the incident but declined to discuss details of what happened because the investigation was still underway. The company, which has offices in the UK and Singapore, said it would provide more information once the investigation was concluded.

The unmanned aircraft were part of a 100-drone show that was cancelled after an outside party interfered with their operation, Asian news outlets reported. The light show was being performed in conjunction with the annual Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival.The planned seven-minute show featured 100 rotorcraft with LED lights honoring the 10th anniversary of the festival by forming the outline of a birthday cake and the number 10.

The drones were lost during a show Saturday, October 27. Shows already had been done Thursday and Friday.

“After initial checks, the GPS signals for the drones were found to be interfered [with] by external parties and the board reported the issue to police immediately,” organizers said in a press release, according to the South China Morning Post.

“These are professional drones, which are already built with technologies that would direct them back to the takeoff origin,” Hong Kong Tourism Board’s Executive Director Anthony Lau told the Morning Post, “but the signals were so strong that many of them just dropped from the air.”

Lau said an initial police investigation ruled out the possibility that the machines had been hacked.

“They [the police] were here all night working with us, and our vendor, and looking into all sorts of possibilities, and have come to the conclusion that it is not computer hacking,” Lau said. “It is because someone jammed the GPS signal.”

By Inside GNSS
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