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February 15, 2015

FAA, White House Lay Out Path for Small UAS Operations

Apparently working overtime during the President’s Day weekend, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today  (February 15, 2015) proposed a framework of regulations <http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/recently_published> that would allow routine use of certain small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) while maintaining flexibility to accommodate future technological innovations. An overview of the small UAS rule can be viewed at

February 14, 2015

White House Drone Incident Highlights Growing Use of UAVs

The latest high-profile incident involving a drone — the January 26 discovery of a crashed quadcopter on the White House lawn — highlights how far events have gotten ahead of regulatory plans and policy for unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

February 13, 2015

Schriever AFB Squadrons Plan GPS Heritage Week

The 2nd and 19th Space Operations Squadrons (SOPS), who operate the GPS satellite constellation from Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, are hosting GPS week February 15-20 to honor their heritage and interact directly with the Colorado Springs community.

Among other goals, organizers hope that it will help clear up common misunderstandings among GPS users who may have used the GPS navigation system either on their phone or car and somehow ended up lost, cold, and hungry.

February 13, 2015

DoT Sets Another GPS/GNSS Workshop on Adjacent Band Compatibility, Receiver Testing

A Federal Register notice published today (February 13, 2015) announced a third U.S. Department of Transportation workshop on March 12 to continue discussions of the Global Positioning System (GPS) Adjacent Band Compatibility Assessment Plan.

The workshop will focus on identification of GPS and GNSS receivers to be considered for testing that are representative of the current categories of user applications and discuss a GPS/GNSS receiver test plan.

February 10, 2015

Galileo Satellites Reach French Guiana for March Launch

Two more Galileo full operational capability (FOC) satellites have reached French Guiana in preparation for a late-March launch from the European spaceport there.
 
The seventh and eighth Galileo satellites — the third and fourth FOC spacecraft — will be launched together by Soyuz during last week of March, following the European Commission's endorsement of the resumption of Galileo launches that had been interrupted after the previous Soyuz launch last August placed satellites into the wrong orbit.
 

February 10, 2015

Federal Court Drops All But Two Claims by LightSquared against GPS Companies

A U.S. District Court has dismissed most of two lawsuits brought in 2013 against GNSS manufacturers stemming from the effort by LightSquared Inc. to build a high-powered broadband wireless network using RF spectrum adjacent to the GPS L1 band and allocated for mobile satellite services (MSS).

February 4, 2015

ICAO Recommends New Flight-Tracking Performance Standard

Member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommended the adoption of a new 15-minute aircraft tracking standard yesterday (February 3, 2015) during discussions among more than 850 participants to the UN aviation body’s 2015 High Level Safety Conference in Montreal, Canada.

The recommended standard is performance-based and not prescriptive, meaning that global airlines would be able to meet it using the available and planned technologies and procedures they deem suitable.

February 3, 2015

GPS Budget Cut by Nearly $100 Million as White House Pares GPS III Funds

The White House showed continuing support for the GPS program with a budget request that was, with one key exception, comparable to that of previous years. That exception though, a cut to GPS III procurement including the zeroing out of advance procurement monies, resulted in an overall program reductions of roughly $100 million.

February 2, 2015

Implementation of a Future Leap Second in Nav Message Causes Problems for Some GPS Receivers

The U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN) has issued an alert today (February 2, 2015) regarding problems with some brands and models of GPS receivers as the result of inclusion of information about a future leap second.

January 30, 2015

GPS Policy Outlook: What to Watch for in the New Congress

Three threads of legislation running through the new congressional session —location privacy, critical infrastructure protection, and updates to the Communications Act — are worth careful monitoring by the GPS community. One bill in particular, the Terrorism Prevention and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2015, could expand the definition of critical infrastructure to include the GPS system — something GNSS experts have been advocating for several years.

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