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Inside GNSS • November/December 2007

Measuring Up: Certification Processes and Testing of A-GPS Equipped Cellular Phones

More and more GPS-enabled devices are entering the consumer marketplace, many incorporating assisted-GPS (A-GPS) technology. These include not only cellular phones, but laptop datacards, PDAs, and other mobile equipment.

Increasingly, GPS devices that were previously standalone now incorporate a cellular modem for such applications as mapping download or live traffic alerts. The proliferation of GPS in the consumer space can also be seen in the availability of GPS automotive navigation systems in local supermarkets or large grocery stores.

Inside GNSS • November/December 2007

GNSS & Space Weather

Space weather accounts for the most substantial errors experienced by GPS/GNSS systems and their users. It is the single largest contributor to the single-frequency GPS error budget, and a significant factor for differential GPS.

But exactly what is space weather? And how does it affect satellite navigation systems?

Ventures • December 2, 2007

EDO Shareholders to Vote on Acquisition by ITT Corporation

EDO Corporation will hold a special meeting of its shareholders on December 18 to complete previously announced plans to be acquired by ITT Corporation, a global aerospace and defense company with headquarters in White Plains, New York.

Thinking Aloud • November/December 2007

GNSS Believer

Technology-agnostic. Now there’s an interesting term.

I first heard it from engineering staff at the Federal Communications Commission as they backpedaled away from a premature assumption that network-based solutions would meet the agency’s E911 mandate for wireless phones. After, that is, their assumption was confronted with a more accurate, more far-reaching GPS technology.

Ventures • November 26, 2007

Trimble Snares USCG DGPS Contract; NDGPS Imperiled

Even as the fate of the inland portions of the Nationwide Differential GPS (NDGPS) reference network hangs in the balance, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has awarded a contract to Trimble for up to 400 high-accuracy GPS reference receivers.

The Trimble NetRS reference receivers will be installed over the next three years as part of the coast guard’s modernization of the Maritime DGPS Service, which is not part of the NDGPS elements that being considered for termination.

Ventures • November 24, 2007

TomTom Gains with Tele Atlas; Garmin Signs with Navteq

Thwarted in its latter-day attempt to buy digital mapmaker Tele Atlas out from under TomTom, GPS manufacturer Garmin International has signed a long-term deal with rival map provider Navteq.

Under the agreement announced November 16, Garmin will extend its current six-year agreement with Chicago, Illinois–based NAVTEQ to access to map data through 2015 with an option to continue through 2019.

November 14, 2007

Urban Challenge: GPS/Inertial Systems Help Win DARPA Race

Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University reversed the order of their finishes in the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, snaring first and second place, respectively, in the Urban Challenge finals held November 3 in Victorville, California.

Both entries incorporated POS LV (Position and Orientation Systems for Land Vehicles) integrated GPS/inertial systems from Applanix Corporation, of Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada.

November 26, 2007

SMC's Hamel Receives AFA Award

Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel, Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) commander, has received the Air Force Association's 2007 Gen. Thomas D. White USAF Space Trophy. The award recognizes outstanding contribution to the nation's progress in aerospace.

Under General Hamel's leadership, SMC has had 54 successful space launches in a row, a feat unparalleled in military space history, according to SMC. He serves not only as the center's commander but also as the Air Force

November 25, 2007

Congress Pares GPS III Funds, Slams Air Force Space Acquisition Efforts (updated 11/28/07)

The GPS III modernization program came up short in the 2008 fiscal year (FY08) Department of Defense (DoD) appropriations bill signed into law by President Bush on November 13.

In passing H.R. 3222, Congress reduced the president’s request by $100 million to $487.23 million for the budgetary year ending next October 1.

Military GPS M-code user equipment (MUE) did better, however: gaining $63.2 million on Capitol Hill, over and above the $93.27 proposed in the administration’s budget, for a total of $156.47 million.

November 24, 2007

GPS Wing Picks Raytheon, Northrop Grumman for GPS OCX Contracts (updated 12/11/07)

In a somewhat surprising development, the U. S. Air Force turned to two new vendors — Northrop Grumman Corporation and Raytheon — in a November 21 announcement of contracts for the Next Generation GPS Control Segment (OCX).

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