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Events • October 25, 2007

Applications-Oriented "Growing Galileo" Event Planned for November 14-15

“Growing Galileo” is the theme of a conference and exhibition taking place November 14–15 in Brussels, Belgium, that will highlight the work under way and planned for developing applications of Europe’s GNSS system.

Thinking Aloud • Spring 2007

GNSS for the Masses

Oh, yes, to be sure — they are really impressive numbers: the steep upward curve of unit and dollar (or euro or ruble or renminbi) sales volumes now that GNSS has hit the big time.

Whether it’s $25 billion today or $68 billion in 2010, the worldwide market has really taken off since consumers have discovered — almost by accident, in many cases — the amazing power of GNSS-driven products and services.

Ah, consumers. The mass market.

Rich! We’ll all be rich beyond our wildest imaginings!

Ventures • October 19, 2007

Hexagon Launches Acquisition of NovAtel Shares

Hexagon AB has launched a tender offer to acquire all the issued and outstanding common shares of NovAtel Inc., a Calgary, Alberta, Canada–based developer and manufacturer of OEM GNSS and related products, at a price per share of US$50 cash. Acting through its wholly owned subsidiary, Hexagon Canada Acquisition Inc., the Swedish technology company will keep its offer, which began October 19, open through November 27.

Ventures • October 18, 2007

Get ready for the 2008 Toulouse Space Show! ENC-GNSS, EFTF 08, and more . . .

Next April’s Toulouse Space Show will provide a good deal of company for the European Navigation Conference (ENC-GNSS 2008).

In addition to the annual European Frequency and Time Forum (EFTF 08), which joined ENC-GNSS 2007 this year at TimeNav '07 in Geneva, Switzerland, events include a Space Applications symposium sponsored by the French space agency CNES, a commercial exhibition, and associated events for the general public, students, and young people, to promote the value of space applications in daily life.

New Builds • October 17, 2007

Swiss GNSS Manufacturer u-blox Is Going Public

Ten-year-old u-blox AG has launched its initial public offering (IPO) of stock, which will begin trading October 26 on the Swiss Exchange. Price range for the offered shares is between 42 and 54 Swiss francs (CHF: US$35.53 and $45.68).

Ventures • October 11, 2007

Nottingham (UK) Establishes GNSS Center

The University of Nottingham and the East Midlands Development Agency (emda) have signed a formal agreement that will create a £9 million (US$18.3 million) state-of-the-art GNSS facility built in Nottingham, United Kingdom.

October 11, 2007

Lack of Launcher Module Delays Galileo Launch

Unavailability of an upper stage of the Soyuz launcher will delay launch of the second Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element satellite (GIOVE-B) until at least March 2008. The most recent schedule had called for a late-December launch from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan.

Already behind schedule as the result of an electrical short that caused widespread damage to the spacecraft during laboratory tests in summer 2006, the Galileo program’s latest postponement reportedly stems from the lack of a Fregat module. Fregat is the portion of the Russian rocket that releases the spacecraft into its final orbit (shown with GIOVE-A in accompanying ESA photo).

October 8, 2007

Transport Ministers Leave Galileo Procurement Unresolved

The European Transport Council generally reaffirmed its commitment to the Galileo program in an October 2 meeting without resolving some underlying differences of how to finance the system following abandonment of the public-private partnership (PPP) approach earlier this year.

In its first look at the European Commission (EC) plan to complete the system by 2013 under a more traditional public procurement process, the council confirmed its intention “to take an integrated decision on the European GNSS before the end of the year.”

October 31, 2007

Hexagon Launches Acquisition of NovAtel Shares

Swedish technology group Hexagon AB, which acquired Leica Geosystems in 2005, launched its tender offer to acquire all the issued and outstanding common shares of NovAtel Inc., a Calgary, Alberta, Canada–based developer and manufacturer of OEM GNSS and related products, at a price per share of US$50 cash.

Ventures • October 4, 2007

NovAtel Confirmed for Long-Term Galileo Contracft

Thales Alenia Space Italia (TAS-I) has awarded NovAtel Inc. a €440,000 milestone award for continued development of the Galileo ground reception Chain (GRC) reference receiver. Although the incremental size of the award is modest, the agreement provides for confirmed, longer-term funding of a two-year-old contract valued at €6.3M (US$8.6 million).

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