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Thinking Aloud • January/February 2013

The GNSS Merry Go Round

The whole GNSS world should have a warm spot in its heart for centripetal forces.

After all, a centripetal force — in this case, gravity — is what keeps planets in rotation around our Sun and satellites, around the Earth.

Centrifugal force, of course, is what throws us off a merry-go-round or carousel. Centripetal force is what keeps us on board.

For those on a merry-go-round, the centripetal force is not gravity, but rather the tensile strength of our arms pulling us toward the center of rotation, at right angles to the motion of our seats.

Inside GNSS • January/February 2013

More Than Money Worries

Navigation users may benefit from GPS modernization sooner than expected thanks to an apparent shift in the schedule of the modernized GPS ground control segment still under development.

The change means that full operational implementation of the new signals will come earlier in the delayed modernization of the operational control Segment (OCS).

Inside GNSS • January/February 2013

The GNSS Quartet

The world’s four GNSS programs aren’t exactly a classical quartet, weaving Mozart stanzas in disciplined execution.

They are more like a new jazz combo, riffing off one another while still trying to get in the groove.

Whatever image the metaphor evokes, if the world’s GNSS programs want to hit that high note of interoperability (to which they all say they aspire), the operators of GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, and Galileo must learn to harmonize better.

Ventures • January 22, 2013

AFRL Selects Surrey Satellite US to Evaluate Small Satellite Approach to GPS

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has selected Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC (SST-US), of Englewood, Colorado, to investigate cost reduction and augmentation of the current GPS constellation through the application of a small satellite approach.

AFRL has contracted with SST-US to identify and analyze how small satellites can improve aspects of GPS system performance, such as accuracy, coverage, and robustness at costs far below those of past procurements.

May 27, 2013 - May 29, 2013
St. Petersburg, Russia
May 13, 2013 - May 16, 2013
Rotterdam, Netherlands
November 10, 2013 - November 14, 2013
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
January 18, 2013

GPS & the Fiscal Cliff — Part II

GPS contractors are scrambling to assess new Pentagon budget-cutting directives that have the potential to slow GPS modernization.

The belt-tightening is in response to a three-way fiscal vise created by the failure of Congress and the White House to agree on a budget for this year, on a new limit for the nation’s debt, and on a plan to implement future budget cuts.

January 17, 2013

UK Drops Patent Efforts on GPS, GNSS Signal Design

The United States and United Kingdom announced today (January 17, 2013) that the British government would end its efforts to obtain patent or intellectual property (IP) rights related to GPS.

January 15, 2013

Lockheed Martin Receives GPS Control Sustainment Contract

The U.S. Air Force Space Command has awarded Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions–Defense a $100 million contract to upport the GPS ground control segment. The contract's period of performance is from January 2013 through June 2019.

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