December 31, 2018

Ligado-Related Lawsuit Recommences Jan. 2

Though 2019 is brand new there are a host of GPS-related issues carrying over from 2018. This is one in a series of stories on satellite navigation issues on the table as the new year gets underway.

Virginia-based Ligado Networks and its predecessor firm LightSquared have been pushing since 2011 to change the rules governing how its spectrum can be used — a move essential to building a ground-based communications network that navigation experts insist will interfere with GPS receivers.

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By Dee Ann Divis
December 24, 2018

Launch of First GPS III Satellite Begins Modernization of the GPS Constellation

At approximately 12,550 miles (20,200 kilometers) up … turn left. You have arrived at a new era for the Global Positioning System (GPS).

A major milestone in the U.S. Air Force’s plan to bring new technology and capabilities to the GPS constellation, the first Lockheed Martin-built GPS III satellite began “talking” with engineers and operators from ground control, as planned, following its successful launch Sunday morning.

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By Inside GNSS

Once again, GPS to Help NORAD Track Santa Claus’ Journey

This is a very exciting and anxious time of year for boys and girls as they await the arrival of Santa Claus and his bag of toys. Fortunately, for those who need to know exactly when to expect this wonderful arrival, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) tracks Santa each year during the holiday season, using satellite systems and high-powered radars to deliver the Santa Tracker.

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By Inside GNSS

GPS III Space Vehicle 01 Launch Rescheduled

UPDATE: According to SpaceX, the launch has been pushed back a second time. Initially the company had not selected  a new launch date, but on Dec. 20 they stated that the new date was to be Dec. 22.

Here are some details from the SpaceX website published on Dec. 20:

SpaceX is now targeting December 22nd for launch of the United States Air Force’s first Global Positioning System III space vehicle (SV) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Weather is 80% favorable for the launch window which opens at 8:55 a.m. EST, 13:55 UTC.

For this mission, the satellite will be deployed to medium Earth orbit approximately 1 hour and 56 minutes after liftoff. Due to mission requirements, SpaceX will not attempt to land Falcon 9’s first stage after launch. You can watch the live launch webcast, starting about 15 minutes before liftoff.

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By Inside GNSS
December 5, 2018

National Space-Based PNT Advisory Board Meets Dec. 5-6

The National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Advisory Board kicked off a two-day meeting in Redondo Beach, California this morning with James J. Miller, Executive Director, PNT Advisory Board, NASA Headquarters; John Stenbit, Chair, and Dr. Bradford Parkinson, 1st Vice-Chair, among those speaking at the opening of the sessions.

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By Inside GNSS
December 4, 2018

GPS Investigations in Japan, and Privacy Concerns

The legal and privacy issues surrounding GPS investigations have come to the forefront around the globe in recent years. Recent court rulings in both Japan and the United States provide insights into the future. Here we summarize and examine a decision by the Japanese Supreme Court and relevant lower court’s decisions, as well compare the Japan decision and the mosaic theory from an earlier U.S. court decision.

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By Ingo Baumann