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Inside GNSS • September/October 2009

Good, But Not Great

This book is a welcome addition to the GNSS textbook literature by the team of authors who have since 1992 produced five editions of an excellent book on GPS targeting high precision users, Global Positioning System (GPS): Theory and Practice. Hofmann-Wellenhof is also the lead author of the 2003 book, Navigation, and for the second edition of the classic Physical Geodesy (2006).

Inside GNSS • September/October 2009

Easy Access

As an engineer, I always believed that the only clear way to communicate a theory or technique must involve the use of mathematics or data plots. Ahmed El-Rabbany’s book is the proof that this is not necessarily so.

Introduction to GPS: The Global Positioning System, now in its second edition, is clear and concise in its description of all the principles and main techniques behind GPS, supported only by simple examples and figures. The formulas are so elementary (and rare) that they are embedded naturally in the text.

Inside GNSS • September/October 2009

Fireside GPS

My history with GPS began during the time of the “Cold War” in what was then Czechoslovakia. In 1975, the ION Journal of Navigation was the only information available to me.  Despite that, my team at the Czech Technical University developed a GPS receiver and measured the position of our faculty in 1984.  In those relatively isolated years, we gained a good deal of experience with GPS signals.

September 17, 2009

OCX budget Cut Could Slow Program; First IIF Might Launch by May 2010

An increasingly likely $97.4-million cut in the GPS OCX budget for fiscal year 2010 (FY10) would slow down work on modernization of the operational control segment, but the Air Force would try to recoup any reduction in the FY11 budget.

Meanwhile, technical problems that have delayed development of the follow-on generation of Block IIF satellites are largely resolved and a first launch is expected in May 2010.

Events • September 11, 2009

GPS Wing, Lockheed Martin, 2nd SOPS Panelists to Discuss SVN49 at ION GNSS 2009

Col. David Goldstein, the GPS Wing’s chief engineer, will chair a panel discussion on SVN49’s current status, issues and options for moving forward  at the Institute of Navigation’s ION GNSS 2009 conference in Savannah, Georgia on Wednesday,  September 23.

Goldstein will be joined by Col. David Madden, GPS Wing commander and representatives from Lockheed Martin, navigation payload contractor;  the 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base that fly the GPS satellites; and members of the civil GPS community.

September 11, 2009

EC to Declare EGNOS Operational for Non-Safety-of-Life Use

The European Commission (EC) expects to declare in October that the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) — which provides satellite-based augmentation signals for GPS and Galileo — is operationally ready as an open and free service for non-safety-of-life (non-SoL) applications, according to a press release from the GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA).

September 9, 2009

746th Sets JAMFEST ‘09

The 746th Test Squadron (746 TS) will offer authorized GPS users another testing and training opportunity in its series of JAMFEST events on November 2–6 at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
Introduced in May 2004, JAMFEST provides a realistic GPS jamming environment for testing GPS-based navigation systems.

Ventures • September 6, 2009

PCTEL Snares ISRO’s GAGAN Ground Station Antenna Role

PCTEL, Inc., of Bloomingdale, Illinois USA, announced that its high-precision Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) ground station GPS antennas will be deployed in India’s GPS-Aided Geosynchronous Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system.

New Builds • September 1, 2009

u-blox Launches Ultra-Low Power u-blox 6 for Battery-Driven Applications

Thalwil, Switzerland–based embedded GNSS receiver provider u-blox has announced the upgrade of its core CMOS technology to u-blox 6, with substantially reduced power requirements as the result of new "intelligent," user-selectable power management features. According to the company, these innovations enable significantly extended battery life for power-critical GPS applications.

August 27, 2009

Air Force Sets Latest GPS Satellite Operational

The last in the series of eight modernized GPS Block IIR satellites, GPS IIR-21(M), has been declared operational for military and civilian users worldwide, just 10 days after launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Launched August 17, the spacecraft (identified by its space vehicle number, SVN50, and pseudorandom noise code, PRN05) joins the constellation of 30 operational satellites on orbit.   

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