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Inside Unmanned Systems
Thought Leadership Series
January 2, 2008

DoD Issues 'Roadmap' for Unmanned Systems

A 25-year (2007-2032) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) roadmap for unmanned systems reflects the critical contribution of GPS technology in a growth area for tactical military systems that are simultaneously seeking a compatible place in civil applications and the national air space.

December 26, 2007

Russia Stays on Schedule with Latest GLONASS Launch

Launch of three GLONASS satellites on December 25 has met the terms and schedule of a presidential initiative to have 18 of the Russian GNSS space vehicles (SVs) on orbit and operational by the end of 2007.

December 20, 2007

Additional GPS IIR-M Satellite Launched, Quickly Begins Transmitting

The U.S. Air Force launched the fifth modernized GPS Block II Replenishment (IIR-M) satellite at 3:04 p.m. EST (20:04 UTC) December 20 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, (December 20) aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. Air Force controllers set the spacecraft to "healthy" status on January 2, in what is probably a record time of 13 days.

December 10, 2007

China to Reveal Compass Plans ‘Soon’

China will release details of its Compass (or Beidou 2) program “soon,” including an Interface Control Document (ICD) for the GNSS system’s open civil service and a launch schedule for additional satellites, according to representatives of the China Satellite Navigation Engineering Center speaking at the Shanghai Navigation Forum (NaviForum) in Shanghai on Thursday and Friday (December 6-7).

December 6, 2007

Three More GLONASS Satellites Come On-Line

Russia’s space forces had an easier time of it bringing the latest set of GLONASS-M satellites on line within just over a month after launch.

As of December 6, the GLONASS constellation had 15 operational satellites, two of which are not broadcasting signals during maintenance. The next launch of three modernized GLONASS space vehicles is scheduled for December 25.

December 3, 2007

Transport Ministers Put Galileo Back on Track

On Friday (November 30), the European transport council voted unanimously to adopt a European Commission (EC) financial scheme that would lead to a fully operational constellation in 2013, if the project can stay on schedule.

December 1, 2007

India’s GAGAN Passes Its Final Test

The Raytheon Company has announced that it successfully completed the final system acceptance test to augment standard GPS signals over India.

GAGAN stands for GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation-Technology Demonstration System. It monitors GPS satellite signals for errors and then generates correction messages to improve positioning accuracy for users.

November 26, 2007

EU Finance Ministers Approve Galileo Funds

At its November 23 meeting, the European Union’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECONFIN) approved €940 million in supplementary funding during fiscal year 2008 to support a public procurement of the Galileo system.

November 25, 2007

Congress Pares GPS III Funds, Slams Air Force Space Acquisition Efforts (updated 11/28/07)

The GPS III modernization program came up short in the 2008 fiscal year (FY08) Department of Defense (DoD) appropriations bill signed into law by President Bush on November 13.

In passing H.R. 3222, Congress reduced the president’s request by $100 million to $487.23 million for the budgetary year ending next October 1.

Military GPS M-code user equipment (MUE) did better, however: gaining $63.2 million on Capitol Hill, over and above the $93.27 proposed in the administration’s budget, for a total of $156.47 million.

November 24, 2007

GPS Wing Picks Raytheon, Northrop Grumman for GPS OCX Contracts (updated 12/11/07)

In a somewhat surprising development, the U. S. Air Force turned to two new vendors — Northrop Grumman Corporation and Raytheon — in a November 21 announcement of contracts for the Next Generation GPS Control Segment (OCX).

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