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Ventures • October 6, 2007

Cornering the Market on Navigable Maps? Nokia/NAVTEQ, TomTom/Tele Atlas Deals

The stunning sequence of multi-billion-dollar buyout offers for the two leading navigable map data providers TeleAtlas and NAVTEQ — by TomTom and Nokia, respectively — raises issues not only of access to critical intellectual property (IP) and a long-delayed explosion of location-based services (LBS) but may also determine the outcome of the long-debated platform of choice for GNSS-enriched consumer applications.

Ventures • October 5, 2007

Block IIF Satellite Heads for Key Tests

The Boeing Company has successfully assembled and integrated all flight hardware onto the first GPS Block IIF (follow-on generation) satellite. Launch is now scheduled for the second half of 2008.

GPS llF spacecraft will bring new capabilities to the GPS constellation, such as a new encrypted military code, a new civil signal, crosslink enhancements, increased signal power, and longer design life. Boeing is building 12 GPS Block IIF satellites under contract from the GPS Wing at the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base.

New Builds • October 4, 2007

Trimble Launches Embedded OEM GNSS Receiver

Trimble has introduced a new, real-time kinematic (RTK) compact GNSS card — the Trimble BD960 — for high-precision guidance and control applications, such as unmanned vehicles and port and terminal equipment automation.

September 26, 2007

GLONASS has "preliminary approval" to transmit CDMA GLONASS signals at L1, L5

GLONASS has gotten “preliminary approval” to add code division multiple access (CDMA) signals to future satellites.

Since its initiation in the early 1980s, the Russian GNSS system has employed frequency division multiple access (FDMA) techniques in which the same code is used for the signals broadcast by the system, with individual spacecraft being distinguished from one another by a specific frequency allocation. Russia would almost certainly continue broadcasting FDMA signals on existing frequencies.

September 19, 2007

Selective Availability: Completely Dead

Selective Availability (SA), the contentious issue of degrading the open GPS civil to advantage military signals, is going away for good under the terms of a presidential decision announced September 18.

September 18, 2007

NovAtel Inc. Buys Antenna Company

NovAtel Inc. has acquired privately held antenna manufacturer Antcom Corporation (Antcom) for $5 million in cash and an additional $1 million in cash subject to Antcom's achievement of certain financial targets for the calendar year ended December 31, 2007.

September 14, 2007

USAF evolves GPS architecture with $800 million upgrade to ground control segment

On September 14, Air Force crews at Schriever AFB, Colorado, completed the initial phase of an $800 million upgrade to the GPS operational control segment.

Operators in the 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS) of the USAF 50th Space Wing migrated control of the GPS satellite constellation and ground monitoring facilities from a 1970s-era mainframe computer to a distributed IT infrastructure with advanced automated features. The 50th Space Wing, through the 2nd SOPS, performs the satellite command and control mission for the Global Positioning System.

September 12, 2007

ICG sets up new Providers Forum to pursue compatibility among GNSS systems, augmentation systems

Operators of the world’s four GNSS systems and regional augmentation systems have laid the foundation for a multilateral environment in which to discuss issues of compatibility and interoperability.

September 9, 2007

It’s MBOC for common Galileo-GPS civil signal

The United States and the European Union (EU) have agreed to use the multiplexed binary offset carrier (MBOC) for a common GPS-Galileo signal for civilian use. In the future, this will enable combined GNSS receivers to track the GPS and Galileo signals with higher accuracy, even in challenging environments that include multipath, noise, and interference.

These signals will be implemented on the Galileo Open Service and the GPS IIIA new L1 civil signal known as L1C.

Inside GNSS • September/October 2007

What’s Going On? RFI Situational Awareness in GNSS Receivers

In-band radio frequency interference (RFI) is a serious threat to the reliable operation of GNSS receivers. When the RFI power level is high enough to render the GNSS receiver inoperable, usually no visible external signs appear indicating that anything is out of order; so, the user initially assumes the receiver has experienced an internal failure.

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