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September 3, 2014

Europe Presses Ahead with Galileo Probe, Program

An independent inquiry commission chaired by Peter Dubock, began its work on August 28, 2014, its task: establish the circumstances of the so-called “major anomaly” that resulted in two Galileo satellites being placed into incorrect orbits last week.

The inquiry commission will identify root causes and associated aggravating factors, offering recommendations to correct the problem(s) and to allow for a safe return to flight for Soyuz launchers from the Guiana Space Center.

August 29, 2014

DoT Plan for GPS Adjacent Band Compatibility Study to Get Airing

A Department of Transportation (DoT) plan that would establish limits on the power of transmissions from bands adjacent to GPS and other GNSS services will get its first hearing at a September 18 meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

August 29, 2014

RTCA Standards Committee Grapples with UAS Collision Avoidance Rules

Techniques to avoid aircraft collisions took center stage as aviation experts met in Washington this week to continue hammering out the standards essential to integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the nation’s skies.

The standards are being developed by RTCA Special Committee 228 (SC-228), one of the family of committees operating through RTCA, Inc., which develops consensus standard for aviation, which are then adopted and put into real-world practice by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

August 23, 2014

Galileo Soyuz Launches May Be Frozen Following Launch Anomaly; Board of Inquiry, Internal EC Task Force to Study Situation

[Updated Ausut 26, 2014) Sources in Brussels say that the two Galileo satellites launched on Friday (August 22, 2014) will likely never reach their proper orbits, and the failure will mean new delays for the Galileo program, as Soyuz launches will be frozen until an investigation is performed and causes identified. Meanwhile, the European Commission (EC), European Space Agency (ESA), and launch contractor Arianespace will take part in a board of inquiry into the flawed launch.

August 23, 2014

Galileo Teams Investigating 'Injection Anomaly' of FOC Satellites

European Space Agency (ESA) and industry officials said today (August 23, 2014) that they are investigating Arianespace’s announcements about anomalies in the orbit injection of the Galileo full operational capability (FOC) satellites launched Friday.

“Complementary observations gathered after separation of the Galileo FOC M1 satellites on Soyuz Flight VS09 have highlighted a discrepancy between targeted and reached orbit,” according to a Friday statement by Arianespace, which leads the industry team handline the launch of the first Galileo FOCs.

August 22, 2014

GNSS Charts Drought-Driven Tectonic ‘Uplift’ in Western U.S.

Precise GNSS measurements have revealed that the severe drought gripping the western United States in recent years is changing the landscape well beyond localized effects of water restrictions and browning lawns, according to scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego.

August 22, 2014

Europe Puts First FOC Satellites into Orbit

After 20 years of discussion, conceptualization, political struggle, and technical reverses, Europe has placed its first two fully operational capability (FOC) Galileo satellites into orbit today (August 22, 2014).

The Galileo 5 and 6 satellites were carried aloft on a Soyuz rocket from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana at 12:27 GMT (14:27 CEST, 09:27 a.m. local time). They join the Galileo in-orbit validation (IOV) satellites 1–4, one of which has been offline since May.

August 21, 2014

Weather Delays Galileo Launch

Due to unfavorable weather conditions of the Guiana Space Center near Kourou, French Guiana, Arianespace decided to postpone the launch scheduled for today (August 21, 2014) of Soyuz flight VS09 carrying Europe's fifth and sixth Galileo satellites — and the first of the fully operational capability (FOC) spacecraft.

A tropical disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean nearing the Lesser Antilles (see NOAA satellite image) could potentially developed into a tropical depression or tropical storm.

August 18, 2014

Despite Congressional Support, 2015 GPS Budget Drops

Members of Congress mapped out some rare common ground with both House and the Senate appropriators agreeing to not only fully fund nearly all elements of the GPS program next fiscal year but to add tens of millions to restore cutbacks in the procurement schedule for GPS III.

August 18, 2014

Digital Nav Payload Emerges as Factor in GPS III Re-Bid

The advantages of a digital navigation payload, a technology singled out by both the House and Senate for $20 million worth of research support, appears to be a key factor in the Air Force’s search for a new GPS III contractor.

The digital payload “is a direct complement to the Production Readiness Alternate Sources Sought released in June,” Air Force officials said in an emailed response to questions about the technology and how it fits into the ongoing search for new GPS III suppliers.

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