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July 31, 2008

Air Force Hopes for November, December Launches of Final GPS IIR-Ms

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 10 2008: With replacement parts currently being manufactured for faulty components that have delayed launch plans, Air Force GPS program managers hope to get the final two modernized Block IIR satellites on orbit by the end of the year.

A tentative launch date of November 7 has been targeted for the Block IIR-20(M), which will carry a payload that includes an experimental L5 signal. If all goes well, the final IIR launch would take place by December 31.

Thinking Aloud • July/August 2008

Lost in the Noise: The Need for Longterm Infrastructure Development

You know how people talk louder when asking something of a person who doesn’t speak their language? (As if the failure to communicate is a simply matter of volume and not frequency or modulation.)

So, here we are in the GNSS world: a community that depends on radio waves so faint they might as well be Atlantic Ocean breakers rippling up on the Florida beach when a Daytona car race is roaring in the background.

Lost in the noise.

Ventures • July 29, 2008

NXP/STMicroelectronics JV Launches

ST-NXP Wireless, a new company bringing together key wireless operations of STMicroelectronics and NXP, will begin operations August 2 following completion of a deal announced earlier this year.

Owning thousands of communication and multimedia patents, the new joint venture will bring key technologies for UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication System) and for the emerging TD-SCDMA standard, as well as other cellular, multimedia and connectivity capabilities -- including WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, FM radio, USB, and UWB (ultra-wideband).

July 28, 2008

Boeing Wins NRL Contract to Continue Iridium/GPS Development

The Boeing Company has received a three-year, $153.5-million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to continue its efforts to augment GPS for military applications by exploiting the Iridium low earth orbit (LEO) communications satellite system.

New Builds • July 22, 2008

Hemisphere GPS Announces New Products, Patents


Hemisphere GPS recently introduced two new products: the LV100 GPS Compass Board, an OEM  format based on the company’s Crescent Vector technology, and the Air IntelliFlow Dual Rate controller for aerial applications.

Human Engineering • July/August 2008

Ron Beard: The Measure of Time

Beard's Coordinates
Approximate Position (ITRF)
X coordinate (m): 1117249.15762
Y coordinate (m): -4848758.67469
Z coordinate (m): 3976821.16656
Latitude (N is +): +38.491471
Longitude (E is ): -077.012785
Elevation (m,ellips.): -26.010

July 1, 2008

GPS IIF Satellite Advances Through Environmental Tests

The Boeing Company has announced completion of the latest in a series of environmental tests of the first of 12 GPS IIF satellites, which confirm the mechanical integrity of the spacecraft.

Having apparently overcome technical problems that have delayed the program for several years, the program is now on track to deliver the first satellite to the U.S. Air Force this year, according to the company, with launch currently scheduled for the first half of 2009.

New Builds • June 23, 2008

SiGe Launches GPS Radio with Dual-Antenna Capability

SiGe Semiconductor, Inc. has released the SE4150L GPS radio receiver featuring dual-antenna input capability for developing GPS products.

Housed in a low profile 4x4millimeter package, the SE4150L RF integrated circuit (RFIC) features a multi-bit output, which improves sensitivity and interference resistance, according to the company. The receiver has a reported system noise figure of 1.0 dB and input third-order intercept performance (IIP3) of better than 0 dBm.

New Builds • June 23, 2008

Micro-Modular Technolgies Joins SiRF Club

A convergence of a relatively new Singapore-based company, Rockwell semiconductor engineering background, and SiRF Technology’s SiRFstarIII will produce a new family of OEM GPS receivers from Micro Modular Technologies (MMT).

By incorporating the SiRF module, the MN5010HS GPS receiver module represents a departure from MMT’s use of GPS technology from u-Nav Microelectronics (now Atheros Communications GPS business unit). Established in 2005, MMT has also joined the roster of SiRF Technology value added manufacturers (VAMs).

June 20, 2008

Air Force Tanker Controversy May Influence Galileo Competition

A U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) assessment that the U.S. Air Force made “significant errors” in awarding a $35 billion contract for refueling tankers to a consortium including the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) may affect the prospects of foreign participation in development of the Galileo system.

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