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February 6, 2008

President’s 2009 Budget Proposal Directs DHS to Implement eLORAN

The Bush administration appears to have finally made a long-delayed decision to complete implementation of an enhanced LORAN (LOng RAnge Navigation) system to serve, in part, as a back-up to GPS.

Late in the drafting process of the Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) budget proposal that went to Congress earlier this week (February 4), officials added language “migrating” the LORAN-C system from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to the Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). A $34.5-million budget and 294 positions would take part in the migration.

New Builds • February 4, 2008

NXP Semiconductors Announces Assisted-GPS Chip

NXP Semiconductors launched its first assisted-GPS (A-GPS) chip, the GNS7560, targeting mobile phones and standalone personal navigation devices (PNDs) with the product’s package size of less than nine square millimeters.

Ventures • February 3, 2008

CSR, Motorola Launch Enhanced GPS Forum

CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) and Motorola have announced launch of an industry group that seeks to promote the integration of GPS and other location technologies to create more robust, continuous positioning capabilities by mobile device users.

New Builds • February 2, 2008

New Companies Focus on Emerging Digital Camera Market

Swindon, UK–based start-up company Air Semiconductor is aiming its first OEM GPS product at what it hopes is a sweet spot in the market: geotagging digital camera photos.

And it may be pointing in the right direction, according to a new IMS Research report that predicts a 200 percent cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) for GNSS-aided digital cameras over the next five years.

New Builds • February 1, 2008

Pole Star Launches Navigation Overlay Products

The French engineering consultancy Pole Star SARL has expanded the firm’s development activities with the launch of its first products — NAO City and NAO Campus, designed to improve the robustness of GNSS positioning in urban and indoor environments with a focus on location-based services.

New Builds • January 25, 2008

Fastrax Launches Two New OEM GPS Units

Fastrax Ltd. has launched two new GPS OEM receivers, including one with an integrated chip antenna, aimed at designers of mass-market automotive and portable devices.

The Fastrax UC322 incorporates an on-board chip antenna (five millimeters thick) designed to reduce the size from that of typical patch antennas and large separate ground planes, according to the company. Instead, the end device's printed circuit board functions as part of the antenna.

Events • February 2, 2008

Strategy-level GNSS leadership to participate in 2008 Munich Summit

As it prepares for its sixth annual conference, the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit continues to hone its identity as a genuine "summit," the place for high-level political, military, and corporate leaders to discuss all of the GNSS systems from a strategic perspective.

Inside GNSS • January/February 2008

China Travel Journal

I have always wanted to go to certain places in China that weren’t on any standard tour. These included such sites as the Ancient Observatory in Beijing, Qianling Park in Guiyang, the Maritime Museum in Shanghai, and the walkway around Victoria Peak in Hong Kong.

Recently, on my first trip to and through China —21,889 miles in all, I used a GPS receiver to find my way through Beijing, Guiyang, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. As a navigator for the past 50 years, I always try to have an alternative means of knowing where I am and where I want to go.

January 24, 2008

GPS Block IIF Satellite to Enter New Round of SMC Tests

Having successfully passed its initial phase of tests at the Space & Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, the first GPS Block IIF (follow-on generation) satellite is expected to enter the second round of thermal vacuum testing in late March, according to the GPS Wing.

On December 24, the GPS IIF program completed the first of two phases of thermal vacuum testing on the first IIF space vehicle (SV-1) built by The Boeing Company. This was "a major success for the program," in the words of GPS Wing officials. Thermal-vac tests exposed the spacecraft to extreme hot and cold temperatures under vacuum conditions to verify system performance and correlate the thermal models, according to the GPS Wing.

Thinking Aloud • January/February 2008

Seems Like Only Yesterday

Oh, how fast they grow up!

Sons. Daughters. Satellite systems.

Why, it seems like only yesterday when I first met the Global Positioning System in 1989, already a strapping young constellation of 11 — 11 satellites, 11 years since the first launch.

And now it’s been 30 years — come February 22 — since a GPS space vehicle, SVN01 PRN04, lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in 1978.

Jammer Dectector
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