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New Builds • May 8, 2008

NovAtel, KVH Partner on GNSS/FOG-IMU Sensor

NovAtel, Inc., and KVH Industries took advantage of the auspicious occasion of the PLANS 2008 conference to launch their separately labeled but common-design versions of a GNSS/fiberoptic gyro (FOG) inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensor.

New Builds • May 6, 2008

Applanix Launches POS AV with Integrated Trimble GNSS, Upgraded DSS RapidOrtho

Applanix has announced the availability of a high altitude tactical mapping option for its DSS RapidOrtho system as well as the integration of the Trimble BD960 GNSS receiver module for its POS AV airborne position and orientation system.

With the GNSS module, POS AV products now support GPS L1/L2 and GLONASS L1/L2 processing, both in real-time and post-mission. The BD960 will also be able to receive and process the next-generation GPS L2C and L5 signals.

May 1, 2008

Hemisphere GPS Reports Record Revenues, Profits in First Quarter

Hemisphere GPS has reported US$25.9 million in revenues for the first quarter of 2008, an increase of 56 percent from the year-earlier period (US$16.7 million) and a record for the company.

The company also reported record first quarter net income of $5.8 million, or $0.11, an increase of 169 percent compared to $2.2 million, or $0.05 per share, in the first quarter of 2007.

New Builds • April 26, 2008

Spectrum Control Offers Dual-Frequency Patch Antenna

Spectrum Control, Inc., of Fairview, Pennsylvania, has designed a new single-element patch antenna that can receive and/or transmit two frequency bands — GPS and satellite communications — in one package.

The new antennas were developed for GPS applications using either Globalstar, for telephone and low-speed data communications, or Iridium’s voice and data communications. The frequencies cover 1575MHz (GPS) to 1615MHz (Globalstar) and 1575MHz (GPS) to 1621MHz (Iridium).

Ventures • April 28, 2008

Lockheed Joins Northrop Grumman OCX Team

As speculated might occur, Lockheed Martin has joined the Northrop Grumman Corporation team competing for the GPS Next Generation Control Segment (OCX) Phase B contract. Lockheed had led its own team in the first round of competition that ended last November.

With Boeing as part of the other prospective OCX team headed by Raytheon Corporation, both companies with experience operating the GPS ground-based infrastructure are playing supporting roles for the contest to build the new control system.

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.

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