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Thinking Aloud • March/April 2008

The Easy Part

The technical problem is the easy part.

How many times have we heard that?

We spend billions of dollars on health care, new drugs, and advanced diagnostic technology, and millions of uninsured people go without medical treatment.

Some regions of the world produce tons more food than local residents can eat, while entire populations go hungry somewhere else.
We can fly to Mars but can’t get a bus across town on time.

So it is with GNSS, too. The technology is the easy part.

Inside GNSS • March/April 2008


SRI International (SRI) has recently addressed the requirements of pointing systems for a variety of maneuvering platforms. These platforms include airborne systems (unmanned aerial vehicles, aircraft), land vehicles (tanks, HUMVEES), and marine vessels.

Inside GNSS • March/April 2008

SAASM On Trial

Selective Availability Anti-Spoof Module (SAASM), which among other things enables decryption of precise GPS satellite signals, is the newest generation of security architecture for all GPS Precise Positioning Service (PPS) users.

Combined with navigation warfare (NavWar) protection technologies, SAASM enhances a combatant commander’s ability to use GPS precise position, velocity, and time (PVT) in all environments. The module combines the new capabilities of unclassified black keys, multiple user networks, and extended GPS functions.

Ventures • March 6, 2008

Astrium-Allsat JV Launches GNSS Reference Network Services across Europe

Astrium Services and Allsat GmbH network+services have created a joint venture, AXIO-NET GmbH, to offer precise navigation and positioning services across Europe.

The companies, which formed a JV in September 2007 to operate the German ascos service, have created a trans-European brand — AXIO-NET  — to extend the service, based on a network of reference stations that generate high-accuracy differential corrections of GPS and GLONASS satellite signals.

People • February 29, 2008

GPS civil signal design innovator elected president of U.S. Institute of Navigation

GPS civil signal design innovator Christopher Hegarty has been elected 2008-9 president of the U.S.-based Institute of Navigation (ION). Hegarty is the director of spectrum management for the MITRE Corporation’s Center for Advanced Aviation System Development, based in McLean, Virginia, USA.

Founded in 1945, ION is a professional society for military and civil engineers, students, and others interested in air, space, marine, land navigation, and position determination. It is affiliated with the International Association of Institutes of Navigation.

February 26, 2008

President’s FY09 Budget Proposes $1.2 Billion for GPS Program

President Bush’s Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) budget released earlier this month proposes an allocation of nearly $1.2 billion dollars for GPS operations, according to the Space and Missile Systems Center's GPS Wing at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California.

If approved, the budget would support continued development of the GPS III satellite program with a first launch in FY14. The somewhat delayed target date appears to match the prediction of the GPS Wing that the first GPS III launch would be set back a few months as a result of Congressional cuts in the FY08 GPS budget.

February 9, 2008

Ivanov GLONASS Flap Obscures Program Reality

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov’s criticism of Roscosmos and GLONASS continues to ripple in news columns around the world.
Widely reported in Russian media and picked up and amplified in derivative reports, Ivanov’s complaints focused on GLONASS’s relative inaccuracy, limited coverage, and lack of user equipment.

However, aside from the fact that the person making the remarks was Ivanov — a powerful figure once thought to be in line to succeed Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, none of this is really news. Rather, it seems like another example of the phenomenon that, when people learn of something for the first time, they assume it has just happened.

New Builds • February 7, 2008

New GPS Device Tracks Letters in the Mail

The new GPS Letter Logger (GLL-1000) by TrackingTheWorld uses a Texas Instruments microprocessor and a u-blox ANTARIS 4 GPS module to help the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) find out where and how long a piece of mail spends in one place.

February 7, 2008

SiRF Announces Multimedia Platform; FY 2007 Results Drive Share Prices Down

SiRF Technology has launched its SiRFprima platform, which combines a GPS/Galileo location engine, application processor, audio and video recording and playback capabilites, high-resolution 3D graphics, and a host of peripheral interfaces – all tuned to operate concurrently.  The platform supports both WinCE and Linux operating system environments, according to the company.

New Builds • February 7, 2008

CSR Announces GPS/Bluetooth Chip, eGPS Demo

CSR of Cambridge, UK, has announced its successful integration of GPS with cellular measurements to create eGPS (enhanced Global Positioning System) technology capable of providing accurate position information on demand in all environments, as well as availability of a single-chip GPS receiver with embedded Bluetooth and FM radio technologies.

CSR’s CEO, Joep van Beurden, says that the new developments advance his company’s goal of providing eGPS capabilities to cellular phones at an additional goal of less than $1 per unit.

Jammer Dectector
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