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January 24, 2008

GPS Block IIF Satellite to Enter New Round of SMC Tests

Having successfully passed its initial phase of tests at the Space & Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, the first GPS Block IIF (follow-on generation) satellite is expected to enter the second round of thermal vacuum testing in late March, according to the GPS Wing.

On December 24, the GPS IIF program completed the first of two phases of thermal vacuum testing on the first IIF space vehicle (SV-1) built by The Boeing Company. This was "a major success for the program," in the words of GPS Wing officials. Thermal-vac tests exposed the spacecraft to extreme hot and cold temperatures under vacuum conditions to verify system performance and correlate the thermal models, according to the GPS Wing.

Thinking Aloud • January/February 2008

Seems Like Only Yesterday

Oh, how fast they grow up!

Sons. Daughters. Satellite systems.

Why, it seems like only yesterday when I first met the Global Positioning System in 1989, already a strapping young constellation of 11 — 11 satellites, 11 years since the first launch.

And now it’s been 30 years — come February 22 — since a GPS space vehicle, SVN01 PRN04, lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in 1978.

Inside GNSS • January/February 2008

GPS Turns 30

Shadows from a westering sun surrounded the Atlas F rocket — essentially a refurbished ICBM — sitting out on the launch pad along California’s central coast. At Vandenberg Air Force Base, it was shortly before 4 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) on February 22, 1978.

The payload was a new class of satellites, which had reportedly gained the sobriquet NAVSTAR some years earlier during a conversation in a Pentagon washroom. The name’s official derivation — NAVigation by Satellite RAnging and Timing — would come later.

January 16, 2008

AFIT Releases GPS System Engineering Case Study

While awaiting the arrival of the definitive history of the Global Positioning System, students of the premier GNSS program might want to take a look at a systems engineering case study released last month by the Center for Systems Engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

Ventures • January 15, 2008

Raytheon Paveway Sales at Record Pace

Raytheon Company received more than $150 million worth of contracts in December for its Paveway family of precision-guided munitions. The latest figures bring the total Paveway year-to-date bookings for 2007 to more than $300 million, a record for Raytheon's Paveway program.

The contracts are a combination of direct commercial sales and foreign military sales and will provide customers in Europe and Asia with the Enhanced Paveway II (EP2) and the EP3 variants of the Paveway weapon system, which upgrade "dumb bombs" into precision-guided munitions.

Events • January 12, 2008

Call for Papers: International Symposium on GPS/GNSS 2008

Abstracts for the 2008 International Symposium on GPS/GNSS are due on Monday, June 16.

This year, the conference, which rotates throughout the Asia-Pacific region, will take place in Tokyo, Japan from November 11 through November 14.

Presenters who choose to have their papers refereed and published in the proceedings must submit their full papers with payment by July 15. Non-refereed papers must be submitted by September 15.

Authors will be notified of acceptance by July 31.

Events • January 5, 2008

Friday, January 18 - Last day to submit abstracts for Joint Navigation Conference

Organizers of the Defense Department’s 2008 Joint Navigation Conference have extended the abstract submission deadline to Friday, January 18. You still have time to send your one-page unclassified proposal to the track chairs listed at this site:
http://www.jointnavigation.org/conference/?page=14

Events • January 5, 2008

GPS THE MOVIE is back....for a limited engagement in Seattle

When last heard from, the intrepid Pacific Northwest production team that gave us the very first GPS movie had just wrapped, and were on their way to Hollywood to pitch the product. (See our story in the September 2006 edition of Inside GNSS.)

January 6, 2008

Russia's Home-Grown GLONASS-GPS Receiver

What may be the first domestically produced, consumer-oriented GLONASS-GPS receiver, sold out shortly after their introduction in Russia’s Ion retail stores.

The Glospace SGK-70 features a 12-channel GLONASS receiver and a 20-channel GPS receiver, which can reportedly use either or both systems simultaneously. Designed primarily for in-vehicle use, the 7.4x4.7x1.2-inch unit incorporates Samsung components has an SD/MMC slot and comes with a 512MB card that includes detailed maps of the Moscow area.

January 5, 2008

Moscow SatNav Forum 2008

Coming on the heels of two successful launches of six GLONASS spacecraft in recent months, the second edition of Russia’s International Satellite Navigation Forum will take place April 7–8 in Moscow at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The event follows a successful inaugural conference in April 2007, which drew a wide range of government and commercial participants. A commercial exhibition will accompany the forum, which will have simultaneous translation available in English.

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