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New Builds • April 29, 2008

Spirent Location Test System Adds W-CDMA, GSM Certification

Spirent Communications plc has announced that the Spirent UMTS Location Test System (ULTS) now supports full certification testing of 3G Partnership Project’s (3GPP) Assisted GPS (A-GPS) RF Minimum Performance test cases for both W-CDMA and GSM devices. With this latest capability, Spirent test equipment can support all A-GPS testing standards including RF performance, signaling conformance, and Secure User Plane (SUPL) Application Enabler, according to the company.

New Builds • April 29, 2008

Atheros Introduces GPS Hardware/Software Combination

Santa Clara, California–based wireless/wired communications semiconductor manufacturer Atheros Communications, Inc., which acquired u-Nav Microelectronics last December, has announced its second-generation, single-chip GPS receiver, the AR1511, and companion ORION 3.0 software suite.

April 24, 2008

GPS III Satellite Contract: An Undeclared Winner?

The Air Force has further delayed the announcement of its decision on who will be the prime contractor for the next block of GPS satellites, IIIA. Earlier reports had set the contract award announcement for early April.

On Wednesday (April 23), Anthony Russo, deputy director of the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT), told a European Navigation Conference 2008 in Toulouse, France, that "source selection" has been identified. He added, "I had hoped to announce [the results] at this conference, but the process is not complete yet."

Source selection means that the GPS Wing at the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) has completed its
evaluation of the bids on the contract and the preferred provider for the new generation of satellites. The Wing — responsible for overseeing the acquisition of GPS space, ground, and military user equipment — has a presentation ready on the IIIA contract award but is waiting to brief the Air Force decision maker, in this case, apparently Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne.

Thinking Aloud • Spring 2008

Persuasive Arts

Formation of the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and
Timing Executive Committee (PNT ExCom) three years ago occurred under
circumstances as awkward as its interminable name.

Set up under the direction of a new presidential policy announced at the end of 2004, the ExCom and its National Coordination Office (NCO) emerged into an environment of proliferating user groups from every field of endeavor — all demanding service provision and protection for their unique PNT applications.

New Builds • April 15, 2008

NovAtel Offers GL1DE Technology for Precision Ag Guidance

NovAtel Inc. has launched its new GL1DE technology, the latest enhancement to the Calgary, Alberta, Canada–based company’s high-precision OEMV GNSS product line.

GL1DE is a relative pseudorange/delta-phase filter enhancement available in the coompany’s OEMV 3.400 firmware. The new technology is targeted for agricultural guidance applications in which pass-to-pass repeatability and elimination of position “jumps” is critical.

New Builds • April 14, 2008

Hemisphere GPS Announces Eclipse Developer Kit

Hemisphere GPS has released an OEM development kit for its Eclipse dual-frequency GPS receiver technology.

Development kits allow product designers and system integrators to more easily access and test all of the available features on an Eclipse board, simplifying the effort needed to reach a proof of concept and shortening the time required to bring a product to market.

Ventures • April 11, 2008

IfEN Receives ESA EGNOS-Related Contract

The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded a contract to IfEN GmbH to develop a “New Generation” receiver breadboard for use at the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) Ranging and Integrity Monitoring Stations (RIMS).

The RIMS New Generation breadboard will be capable of receiving the new L2C and L5 signals, the Galileo E1, E5ab, and E6 signals and the GLONASS L1 signal in addition to GPS L1 and L2P signals.

Inside GNSS • Spring 2008

U.S. PNT Initiative: E Pluribus Unum?

The GNSS world has gotten pretty complicated.

European nations and industry often comment enviously on the U.S. advantage of having a single political entity in charge of its GNSS program. They contrast the sole “ownership” of the Global Positioning System with Galileo’s dependence on consensus among the 25 member nations of the European Union and the 17 national space agencies represented in the European Space Agency.

But the closer one gets to the “unitary” American polity and GPS policy and management, the more fragmented it appears.

Inside GNSS • Spring 2008

The Art of ARTUS–A Second-Generation Galileo/GPS Receiver

Creation of new global navigation satellite systems and modernization of existing ones is introducing many new signals across a wide swath of RF spectrum now and in the near future. These developments are accompanied by a growing need to design new GNSS receivers that can work with new signal structures on an increasing number of frequencies.

Europe’s Galileo program has supported a number of activities intended to promote innovations in receiver design, such as prototype Galileo user equipment, reference receivers, and so on.

Inside GNSS • Spring 2008

Double Estimator–A New Receiver Principle for Tracking BOC signals

For the current civilian GPS C/A code transmission with which people
are most familiar, each GNSS satellite transmits an individual periodic
code employing the principle of code division multiple access (CDMA).

The code itself is modulated onto a carrier using a phase shift keying or PSK(fC) technique where fC is a code rate.

The aim of signal processing design, then, is to estimate the relative
delay in each incoming satellite signal, in order to compute the
location of the receiver.

Signals
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