200903 March/April 2009

March 18, 2009

More Problems with GPS IIF; IIR-(20)M Is L5’s Plan B

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water . . .

Discovery of a power anomaly in signal generator of the first GPS Block IIF space vehicle (SV) has thrown a new wrinkle into the long-delayed follow-on generation of spacecraft.

Meanwhile, it’s all systems go (and all fingers crossed) for launch of a modernized Block IIR satellite IIR-20(M) with the demonstration L5 navigation payload designed to secure priority GPS access to the frequency.

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By Inside GNSS
February 28, 2009

FY 2010 Budget Outline Proposes to End Loran

Ready for another round?

President Obama appears to have weighed in on the long-running Loran/eLoran debate — on the side of terminating the terrestrial radionavigation system and, apparently, its enhanced version that had been proposed as a backup to GPS.

In a February 26 message to U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) members, Vice-Admiral V. S. Crea, USCG Vice Commandant and Chief Operating Officer, said the Fiscal Year 2010 (FY10) budget outlined in a document sent to Congress calls for termination of Loran-C in the coming year.

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By glen
February 17, 2009

CSR-SiRF Merger Pairs Struggling Bluetooth and GPS Powerhouses – and Shows Handset Platform Dominance

CSR image

Merger plans recently announced by CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) plc and SiRF Technology Inc. connote more than the evolving fortunes and common future of a Cambridge, UK–based Bluetooth and WiFi provider and a San Jose, California GPS manufacturer.

It reaffirms the emergence of mobile phone handsets as a dominant location platform, the convergence of wireless communications and positioning at the chip level, and the trend toward absorption by semiconductor manufacturers of independent GPS technology providers who offer only single-frequency solutions.

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By glen
February 13, 2009

Satellite Collision Raises Issue of Similar GNSS Risks

GPS Orbital Decay. Aerospace Corporation

The February 10 collision of an active Iridium satellite and a defunct Russian military communications satellite underlines a concern raised recently at the International Committee on GNSS (ICG) about the need to include coordination of space vehicle (SV) operations.

In comments during a session of Working Group A (compatibility and interoperability) during the ICG’s recent meeting in Pasadena, California, Professor Grigory Stupak of the Russian Institute for Space Device Engineering (RISDE), noted that Russia’s “position is that compatibility includes more than just signals,” among other things, “the sharing of orbits and disposal of satellites.”

Similar concerns have been expressed in recent years by organizations that have studied the possibility of GNSS satellites, particularly those that have been “parked” in disposal or graveyard orbits, to drift and possibly collide with one another.

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By glen