Inside GNSS • July/August 2008
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
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
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
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
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
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
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).
July 28, 2008
The Boeing Company has received a three-year, $153.5-million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to continue its efforts to augment GPS for military applications by exploiting the Iridium low earth orbit (LEO) communications satellite system.
New Builds • July 22, 2008
Human Engineering • July/August 2008