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August 10, 2009

GPS 746th Test Squadron Turns 50

A tradition of testing of navigation systems and missile components began for the 746th Test Squadron (746 TS) in 1959 and continued as it reached its golden anniversary in May 2009.

August 6, 2009

Upcoming Block IIR-(21)M Launch Wraps Up Generation of GPS Satellites

The scheduled August 17 launch of GPS satellite IIR-(21)M — also known by its space vehicle number SVN50 — will mark the end of a couple of eras: the final launch of the Lockheed Martin–built replenishment generation (Block IIR) of GPS satellites and the last Air Force launch using the Delta II rocket.

Notably, SVN50 will not have a payload connected to the J2 reserve auxiliary payload port that proved problematical with the L5 demonstration payload on the previous GPS satellite, SVN49, and possibly on other Block IIR/IIRMs.

August 5, 2009

U.S. House of Representatives Trims $97 Million from OCX Budget, Cites Contract Delays

(Updated 11 a.m. (PDT), includes additional details from the GPS Wing)

A $97.4-million reduction in the GPS program made by the U.S. House of Representatives would affect the modernization program for the operational control segment (OCX), not the GPS III satellite budget as reported earlier.

In adopting the action of its appropriations committee, the full House approved H.R. 3326, the Department of Defense (DoD) Fiscal Year 2010 (FY10) budget, on July 30. The bill was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 3. In its report on the bill, the House committee said it made the cuts because of contract delays in the OCX program.

July 29, 2009

U.S. Congress Working on 2010 Appropriations for Loran-C and eLoran as GPS Backup

Enhanced Loran (eLoran) has survived through multiple generations of official ambivalence about the proposed backup for the U.S. Global Positioning System. Currently, the program is in (almost) on-again status.

The latest chapter began with President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2010 (FY10) budget proposal, which called for termination of Loran in the coming year. At a May 7 press conference, the president described Loran as a system that’s been eclipsed by the rise of GPS.

July 20, 2009

ISRO Extends Raytheon Contract for GAGAN GPS Augmentation System

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has awarded a new $82 million contract to Raytheon Company to modernize the Indian air navigation system.

Raytheon will build the ground stations for the GPS-Aided Geosynchronous Augmented Navigation System (GAGAN), and the Indian Space Research Organization will provide the space segment and additional ground equipment. GAGAN will provide satellite-based navigation for civil aviation over Indian airspace and adjoining areas in south and east Asia.

July 17, 2009

U.S. Access to Europe's Galileo Program Markets Subject of Trade Rep Report

Comments submitted to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)
suggest that the Galileo program is finally nearing a decision on commercial use of specifications for its Open Service (OS), but U.S. officials remain concerned that this nation’s equipment manufacturers not be placed at a competitive disadvantage. Meanwhile, Galileo simulators appear to finally be reaching receiver manufacturers, despite the absence of official approval.

July 17, 2009

GPS Signal Anomalies: Is SVN49 Just the Tip of the Iceberg?

After GPS Wing engineers and contractors figure out how to solve the elevation-dependent signal anomalies on the latest GPS satellite — Space Vehicle Number 49 (SVN49), they may want to take a look at another nine Block IIR and IIR-M spacecraft that European scientists say exhibit similar, but less severe, behavior.

In an article that will appear in the July/August issue of Inside GNSS, Tim Springer and Florian Dilssner, GNSS engineers in the Navigation Support Office of the European Space Operations Center (ESOC), described the effects of the anomaly as well as the U.S. Air Force’s initial attempts to solve the problem by altering the broadcast satellite orbital positions and time. A version of the article was posted June 25 on the magazine’s website.

July 15, 2009

iGPS Program Reaches Two Milestones

Iridium Satellite LLC (Iridium) and Boeing have achieved two major milestones to further develop and demonstrate capability enhancements to the High Integrity Global Positioning System (iGPS) program for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.

July 9, 2009

746th Test Squadron Spins Up Jamfest ‘09

The 746th Test Squadron (746 TS) will offer authorized GPS users another in its series of JAMFEST training scenarios November 2–6 at at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

Introduced in May 2004, JAMFEST provides a realistic GPS jamming environment for testing GPS-based navigation systems. Since its inception, JAMFEST has hosted a diverse customer base, including multi-service Department of Defense (DoD) groups, defense contractors, and civil organizations with objectives ranging from training personnel in GPS-denied or –degraded conditions to characterizing the performance of prototype advanced anti-jam technologies against operationally realistic threats.

Jammer Dectector
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