GPS

December 5, 2018

National Space-Based PNT Advisory Board Meets Dec. 5-6

The National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Advisory Board kicked off a two-day meeting in Redondo Beach, California this morning with James J. Miller, Executive Director, PNT Advisory Board, NASA Headquarters; John Stenbit, Chair, and Dr. Bradford Parkinson, 1st Vice-Chair, among those speaking at the opening of the sessions.

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By Inside GNSS

Air Force to Battle Hostile Navigation Environments with High-Assurance GPS Receiver Technology from Rockwell Collins

Rockwell Collins has been selected by the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (USAF AFLCMC) to provide its latest-generation Digital GPS Anti-Jam Receiver (DIGAR). With unsurpassed GPS threat protection levels, DIGAR receivers will bring highly-reliable navigation for U.S. Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force Reserve F-16 aircraft operating in contested, electromagnetic environments, according to Rockwell Collins. This will be the first combat fighter aircraft to be installed with the latest version of the receiver.

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By Inside GNSS
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.

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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
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