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Inside GNSS • September/October 2008

Follow the Sun: GNSS and Solar Car Racing

Continuum, the University of Michigan’s solar car that raced 2,400 miles propelled by the amount of power used by a hair dryer, started out in Texas and never surrendered the lead until they reached their goal in Alberta, Canada, on July 22.

August 13, 2008

ATK PGK Trials Meet 105mm Artillery Standard

Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) has announced its successful demonstration of the capability to divert a 105-millimeter (105mm) artillery round using its existing 155mm Precision Guidance Kit (PGK) with minimal modification to the current design.

Inside GNSS • July/August 2008

Ron Beard's Compass Points

Engineering Specialties
Design and operation of navigation satellite systems, space-qualified atomic clocks and related subsystems

His Compass Points

• Carol, his wife of 42 years, “ who has always been behind me.”
• Son Orson and daughter-in-law Carrie and “three fabulous grandchildren.”
• “My love of science.”

Favorite Equation

Inside GNSS • July/August 2008

Faulty Booster Component Delays IIR-M Launches

Suspected faulty components in a Delta II rocket are delaying the launch of the final two modernized GPS Block IIR satellites, possibly preventing the early broadcast of an L5 civil signal that faces a 2009 deadline for being on the air.

August 11, 2008

Boeing Will Build GPS IIF Satellites on New ‘Pulse’ Line

The Boeing Company will use its new “pulse line” process for assembling satellites to build GPS Block IIF satellites for the U.S. Air Force.

Constructed at the company’s facility in El Segundo, California, the new process is expected to shorten the time needed to build a space vehicle and will eventually be implemented on all Boeing satellite production lines.

For the Block IIFs the new process will reduce the travel distance of a space vehicle from 12,000 feet to 10,000 feet, according to John Duddy, director of GPS programs for Boeing.

New Builds • August 6, 2008

Openmoku Plans Publication of Mobile Phone Schematics, including GPS Chip

Okay, they’re really serious about open source.

Mobile device manufacturer Openmoko has announced that it will publish the schematics for the company’s Neo 1973 and Neo FreeRunner mobile phones, further opening its mobile platform to the development community.

u-blox AG, Switzerland, maker of the GPS chip — the u- ANTARIS 4 ATR0635 — used in the Neo FreeRunner, endorsed Openmokos publishing the complete schematics for the GPS chip in the Neo FreeRunner phones.

August 1, 2008

GIOVE-B Signal Observations Confirm MBOC's Multipath Advantage

Initial results from observations of the Galileo GIOVE-B satellite conducted by researchers at the European Space Agency (ESA) and Septentrio Satellite Navigation indicate that the multiplex binary offset carrier (MBOC) modulation outperforms the BOC(1,1) modulation on the L1 (data + pilot channels) frequency in mitigating the effects of multipath or reflected signals.

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).

Jammer Dectector
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