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October 30, 2014

Airbus GNSS Engineers Win Top ESNC 2014 Prize

The European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) has gone Big Time.

Unlike past years, when product designers and engineers from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) have walked away with the top prize, this year’s overall winner was Airbus Defence & Space (Airbus DS GmbH), a division of the Airbus Group (formerly EADS). Headquartered in France and generating annual revenues of €14 billion, Airbus DS was established last year by the merger of the parent company’s Airbus Military, Astrium, and Cassidian units.

October 30, 2014

Under Congressional Pressure, U.S. Agencies Maneuver on eLoran Relaunch, GPS Backup

Prodded by Congress, the federal government is reexamining its decision to abandon eLoran, a network of ground stations capable of supplying essential timing and positioning data to power, phone, and other critical networks if something happed to GPS.

October 23, 2014

New Home (or Not) for Galileo in European Commission

The European Parliament voted yesterday (October 22, 2014) to accept President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker’s “last-chance” leadership for the European Commission (EC).

But the 11th-hour reshuffling of posts appears to leave Galileo without a clear-cut leader, at least at the political level — even as the Commission and its European Space Agency (ESA) partner have decided to give up the prospect of a December launch of two satellites.

October 23, 2014

India Lofts Third IRNSS Spacecraft into Orbit

ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C26, successfully launched IRNSS-1C, the third satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), from Satish Dhawan Space Center last Thursday (October 16, 2014 local time).

October 17, 2014

Army Funds GPS M-Code Upgrades as NATO Tackles Interoperability Problems

Pushed by Congress to upgrade to M-code, the U.S. Army is earmarking money for the new capability even as sequestration is forcing programs cuts, according to the service’s top acquisition official.

“We are heading towards the M-code capability,” said Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary for acquisition, logistics and technology. The Army has worked “our S&T (science and technology) pieces,” she said, noting that the Air Force was developing the necessary circuit cards through is Military GPS User Equipment (MGUE) program.

October 16, 2014

GNSS+: PNT Heads for the Great Indoors

A confluence of technology, policy, and applications is turning indoor venues into the next big frontier for positioning and navigation.

Recent market studies have heralded the prospects for positioning, navigation, and tracking inside buildings where GNSS signals are often attenuated or blocked entirely. Many products and conceptual designs combine the indoor technologies with GNSS to provide “ubiquitous” positioning.

October 16, 2014

ICAO, RTCA Seek New Protections for GNSS Aviation Receivers

International aviation officials have asked U.S. experts to consider updating standards for GNSS aviation receivers to improve their ability to withstand interference from repeaters, pseudolites, and jammers.  

Repeaters — generally used to extend navigation signals inside buildings where they would otherwise be blocked — rebroadcast GNSS satellite signals and therefore operate in the same frequency band. Although useful within a building,  care must be taken to confined the repeater’s signal lest it confuse other receivers operating nearby.

October 16, 2014

Anatomy of a Rescue: the Galileo Satellites

Well, the good news is that the European GNSS program has recovered and stabilized the condition of its first two two full operational capability (FOC) satellites, which had been delivered into incorrect orbits following their August 22 launch.

October 9, 2014

European Commission GSA Sign Agreement on Galileo Service Provision

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) and the European Commission (EC) have concluded an agreement that delegates a range of exploitation tasks for Galileo to the GSA, providing a framework and budget for the development of services and operations through 2021.

The signing of the Galileo Exploitation Delegation Agreement serves as an initial step towards the full Galileo Exploitation Phase.

October 8, 2014

Arianespace Inquiry Identifies Source of Galileo Launch Anomaly; Next Attempt Could Come in December

In a report issued Tuesday (October 7, 2014), an Independent Inquiry Board formed to analyze the cause of the August 22 launch anomaly that placed two Galileo into the wrong orbits has concluded that frozen fuel lines caused a misfiring of attitude control thrusters on the launcher’s Fregat module.

According to the report, the problem can be remedied on the rockets in time for another launch in December, much sooner than some observers had speculated.

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