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December 31, 2014

Study Launched to Quantify the Economic Benefits of GPS

A new study is underway to estimate the economic benefit of GPS and quantify what’s at stake if anything interferes with its navigation signals.

Launched at the request of the National Executive Committee (ExCom) for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT), the first segment of the two-part study would look at major uses of GPS. It will estimate the benefits derived from the system and describe the costs that would be incurred if GPS became unavailable, compiling the results in an interim report.

December 31, 2014

Financial Networks Shifting to GPS-Stamped Precise Time

New competitive demands and regulatory requirements are driving financial firms around the world to use highly precise timestamps on incoming information and transactions, a trend likely to push firms to adopt a common time source like GPS.

December 22, 2014

NASA’s Ikhana UAS Captures Orion Splashdown

As NASA’s new exploration spacecraft Orion made its way back to Earth from its first test mission, the Ikhana unmanned aircraft system captured its return—making it possible for NASA to stream the parachute deployment and splashdown footage on live television.

December 18, 2014

Raytheon, Lockheed Complete Another GPS III, OCX Development Exercise

On Wednesday (December 17, 2014) Raytheon Company announced successful completion of the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises being undertaken together with Lockheed Martin to demonstrate new automation capabilities, information assurance, and launch readiness of the U.S. Air Force's next generation GPS III satellite and Operational Control System (OCX).

December 17, 2014

Errant Galileo FOC Satellite Signal Helps Provide First Positioning

Galileo's fifth satellite (and first fully operational capability, or FOC, spacecraft) — recently salvaged from an incorrect orbit  — has been combined with three predecessors to provide its very first position fix.

Test receivers at the European Space Agency (ESA) ESTEC technical center in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, and at the Galileo In-Orbit Test station at Redu, Belgium, received the signals at 12:48 GMT on December 9 from a quartet of Galileo satellites and fixed their horizontal positions to better than two meters.

December 16, 2014

Cut to GPS OCX Civil Funding Could Trigger New Delays as Scrutiny, Pressure Mount

With final passage of the Omnibus spending bill on December 13 Congress deepened by $17 million the fiscal ditch in which the new GPS ground system finds itself, possibly further delaying the completion of a modernized operational control segment (OCX) and increasing costs just as the Department of Defense’s top acquisition official steps in to take a closer look at budget overruns.

December 16, 2014

Official: Foreign GNSS Signals Need FCC Authorization for Use in United States

A rule largely aimed at opening trade in telecommunication services will require Russia and other international providers of GNSS services to apply for authorization before their navigation signals can be legally used in the United States, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) official has told GPS experts on the Space-based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Advisory Board.

December 15, 2014

Saudi Group Awards Water Resources Prize to GNSS Researchers

The GPS Reflections Group at the University of Colorado, Boulder, led by Dr. Kristine M. Larson, has received the Creativity Prize from the Council for the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water.

The council awarded the prize today (December 15, 2014) at a ceremony preceding the 6th International Conference on Water Resources and Arid Environments (ICWRAE 6) taking place this week in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

December 15, 2014

8th GPS IIF Satellite Begins Transmitting Nav Signals

[Updated December 15, 2014] The eighth GPS Block IIF navigation satellite launched on October 29 has completed its operational checkout and was set to healthy and usable on Friday (December 12, 2014). This brings the number of satellites transmitting the L2C signal to 15 and those transmitting the L5 signal to 8.  The next GPS-IIF satellite, IIF-9/SVN-70 is tentatively scheduled for launch in March of 2015.

December 8, 2014

Canada Eases Rules for Commercial Unmanned Flights; UAV Mischief Mounts in U.S.

Canada has lifted a key filing requirement on professional drone operators, allowing firms flying small, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to conduct for-profit flights without prior approval as long as they follow a lengthy set of rules and obtain insurance.

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