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GNSS Hotspots

No Love from the FAA, SVN64, Black Swans, Glonass-M #54 and India's second geosynchronous satellite

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1. WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? 
Detroit, Michigan USA 
√ The Federal Aviation Administration nixed a Michigan florist’s plan to deliver Valentine bouquets via drone in February. Flower Delivery Express was beta testing their single drone on a small group of Bloomfield Hills Loved Ones when the FAA asked them to stop. On March 6, a National Transportation Safety Board judge said flying commercial UAVs below 400 feet was fine. Now the FAA is appealing, and the florist says he’ll continue to test the drone delivery he believes is the wave of the future.  

2. HELLO, SVN64 
Cape Canaveral, Florida USA 
√ On February 20, IIF-5 took a ride on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket to take its place in slot 3, plane A of the GPS constellation. SVN64 will replace a IIA satellite that is joining the reserves after 16 years of active duty.  

3. BLACK SWAN EVENT? 
Teddington (London), United Kingdom 
√ In a Royal Institute of Navigation conference keynote on resilient PNT, Brad Parkinson, the pioneer director of the Navstar GPS program, said both GPS and Galileo signals are more vulnerable to sabotage and disruption than ever before and Western governments are ignoring the risk. A UK report said conditions were ripe for an unpredictable “Black Swan” event that could knock out critical GPS systems.  

4. Glonass-M #54
Plesetsk Space Center, Russia 
Glonass-M #54 is at Plesetsk Cosmodrome, being prepared for launch on March 24. It carries a high-accuracy thermal stabilization unit that will be tested for use on nextgeneration Glonass satellites. Russia cancelled planned launches in September and October 2013. Despite the diplomatic showdown between Russia and the U.S. over Ukraine, NASA chief Charles Bolden said in a March 4 press briefing that space relations between the two countries are normal and expected to remain so. (UPDATED APRIL 2) Well, that didn't last long....

5. The Second Geosynchronous Satellite
Satish Dhawan Space Center and  Byalalu (Bangalore), India 
√ The second geosynchronous satellite in India’s regional satellite navigation system will head into space on Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C24 on March 31. India’s goal is to have space, ground and user segments manufactured in-country. The space agency, ISRO, opened a dedicated IRNSS navigation center (INC) in Byalalu in May of last year, shortly before their first satellite launched on July 1. (UPDATED APRIL 4) IRNSS 1B launches successfully.

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