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August 24, 2016

Federal Railroad Administration Announces Status Updates to GPS-Aided Collision Avoidance System

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) last week released a status update that calls for railroads to roll out Positive Train Control (PTC) technologies, which incorporates GNSS technology, as soon as possible. The update also underscores the Obama administration’s calls to provide more funding to assist commuter railroads in implementing PTC.

PTC uses GNSS, but mostly GPS, to prevent train-to-train collisions, high-speed derailments, and the unauthorized movement of trains into work zones.

August 16, 2016

GPS OCX to Halt Work September 15 unless Lawmakers Act

A lack of funds will force a shutdown in the development of the GPS new ground system on September 15 unless lawmakers act on a July request to redirect funds, according to the Air Force.

Although the doors likely would only be closed for a little over two weeks, a hiatus would add substantially to the total cost of the GPS Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) and further delay completion of the already behind-schedule program, the Pentagon has told lawmakers.

August 16, 2016

Ligado Lobbying Expenses Jump as Election Looms, Near-GPS Spectrum Sought

With control of Congress increasingly up in the air and a new administration due to take the reins in six months, organizations around Washington, are working hard to get friendly provisions in place before sympathetic officials have to change jobs.

Public records show that would-be broadband provider Ligado Networks, which hopes to rezone frequencies neighboring those used by GPS despite a proven interference risk, is on track to double its lobbying expenditures this year.

August 16, 2016

Australia Plans New Datum System in Response to GNSS Growth

Citing the position accuracy of new GNSS constellations, Australia’s Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM) is moving to modernize the country’s current datum system.

August 16, 2016

GNSS Forum: Seven Easy Ways the Administration or Congress Could Get a Quick Win Protecting GPS and America

The U.S. Secretary of Defense has said “I hate GPS” and “I want to unplug the military from GPS.” Senior officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have called GPS “a single point of failure for critical infrastructure.”

GPS signals are used by virtually every technology. Their disruption for more than a brief period of time or over more than a small area could impact cell phone service, financial systems, computer networks, emergency radio systems, and every mode of transportation. It could be catastrophic for America.

August 10, 2016

Salvaged Galileo Satellites to Transmit Test Signals

The European Space Agency (ESA) said two ailing Galileo satellites, which were salvaged from a faulty 2014 launch and moved into improved but not fully operational orbits, are set to begin broadcasting navigation signals for industry testing.

August 6, 2016

Air Force Announces a New Competition for GPS III Launch Services

[Updated August 19, 2016, to include Air Force responses to Inside GNSS questions.] The U.S. Air Force has announced a new competition for the next GPS III satellite launch, scheduled for 2019. The request for proposal (RFP) for an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Launch Service, due from the industry by September 19, follows a draft RPF that received “extensive industry engagements,” the Air Force said.

July 29, 2016

GAO Watchdog Report: Military Space Acquisition Process, Including GPS, Still Fractured, Costly

A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) outlines how, after decades of debate, the Department of Defense (DoD) system for buying and integrating space systems remains complex and fractured — causing delays, cost overruns, and cancellations among the department's many space programs, including GPS.

July 27, 2016

Surprise GPS Receiver Tests Involving Ligado Spectrum Effort

[Updated August 2, 2016] A government agency is poised to release a surprise test plan for GPS receivers that appears to incorporate a highly controversial yardstick for determining when a service in adjacent frequencies interferes with GPS signals.

July 20, 2016

Attempted Coup in Turkey Leads to Cancellation of COSPAR Conference

COSPAR 2016, originally scheduled for July 30 to August 7 in Istanbul, Turkey, has been cancelled due to the recent attempted coup by elements in the national army.

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