The U.S. State Department and the National Coordination Office (NCO) for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) are soliciting participation from the GPS industry in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organization’s GNSS Innovation Summit and the 12th GNSS Implementation Team (GIT) Meeting to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, in May.
The Innovation Summit takes place May 26–27, followed by the GIT meeting May 28–30.By Glen Gibbons
The Nationwide Differential Global Positioning System (NDGPS) program has been salvaged from the political limbo in which it has resided for more than a year.
Following completion of an assessment by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT), the agency has decided to continue full NDGPS operations. Currently, 86 stations are operating with support from three federal agencies: the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG, 39 sites), the Army Corps of Engineers (9 site), and the DoT (38 sites operated and maintained by the USCG under contract).By Glen Gibbons
Europe’s Jules Verne Automatic Transfer Vehicle (ATV) that docked Thursday (April 3) at the International Space Station (ISS) is operating with a guidance, navigation control (GNC) system based on a GPS receiver developed by Thales Alenia Space Italia (TASI).
The GNC unit provides accurate position and velocity information for the ATV orbit control and rendezvous operation with the ISS. The Jules Verne completed its first space cargo voyage — 25 days long — docking the 10,470-kilogram (23,034-pound) ATV with the station, orbiting the Earth at 28,000 kilometers per hour.
According to the European Space Agency (ESA), this docking marks the beginning of Jules Verne’s main servicing mission to deliver cargo, propellant, water, oxygen and propulsion capacity to the station, as well as ESA’s entry into the restricted club of the partners able to access the orbital facility by their own means.By Glen Gibbons
The GPS program has passed a milestone of sorts with the first allocation of funds from civil agencies to pay for a portion of the core GPS budget.
The Fiscal Year 2008 (FY08) budget for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) sets aside $7.2 million as the first installment on the civil share of GPS modernization efforts, including the L1C signal that will be transmitted on the GPS Block III satellites and costs of monitoring the civil GPS signals in the modernized ground control segment (OCX). For the FY09 budget, the Bush administration has requested a $20.7 million allocation. The total five-year civil contribution (FY09-13) is expected to be more than $200 million.By Glen Gibbons
GIOVE-B, the second Galileo in-orbit validation satellite, has arrived safely at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where it is undergoing pre-flight checks in preparation for its launch early on April 26.
After completing final tests at the European Space Agency (ESA) space technology center in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, the spacecraft was transported to Baikonur aboard an Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft.By Glen Gibbons
L3/Interstate Electronic Corporation (IEC) has scored a key contract win with today’s (March 17) announcement of the company’s selection by Alliant TechSystems, Inc. (ATK) to supply IEC’s new TruTrak Evolution GPS receiver for the Army’s Precision Guidance Kit (PGK) program.By Glen Gibbons
Successful launch of a GPS Block IIR satellite on March 15 continues a U. S. Air Force initiative to bolster the nation’s GNSS constellation against anticipated failures of aging on-orbit spacecraft while improving system accuracy and accelerating the availability of new military signals.
An analysis of the condition of subsystems on GPS satellites in orbit last year indicated that up to nine GPS space vehicles (SVs) could fail in the near future, according to Col. David Madden, commander of the GPS Wing at the Space & Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. “That’s what drove us down this path of launching five in one year,” said in a recent news conference.By Glen Gibbons
Astrium Services and Allsat GmbH network+services have created a joint venture, AXIO-NET GmbH, to offer precise navigation and positioning services across Europe.
The companies, which formed a JV in September 2007 to operate the German ascos service, have created a trans-European brand — AXIO-NET — to extend the service, based on a network of reference stations that generate high-accuracy differential corrections of GPS and GLONASS satellite signals.By Glen Gibbons
A recent presentation on Compass/Beidou that appeared to reflect a step back from China’s GNSS program more likely represented a step sideways — and an implicit acknowledgment of the complex political and technical elements involved in such an enterprise.
In February 20 remarks at the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit in Germany, Jing Guifei, a project manager at the National Remote Sensing Center of China (NRSCC), seemed to play down the global aspects of Compass — or Beidou 2 — while underlining near-term efforts to implement a regional capability for the system.By Glen Gibbons
GPS civil signal design innovator Christopher Hegarty has been elected 2008-9 president of the U.S.-based Institute of Navigation (ION). Hegarty is the director of spectrum management for the MITRE Corporation’s Center for Advanced Aviation System Development, based in McLean, Virginia, USA.
Founded in 1945, ION is a professional society for military and civil engineers, students, and others interested in air, space, marine, land navigation, and position determination. It is affiliated with the International Association of Institutes of Navigation.By Inside GNSS
President Bush’s Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) budget released earlier this month proposes an allocation of nearly $1.2 billion dollars for GPS operations, according to the Space and Missile Systems Center’s GPS Wing at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California.
If approved, the budget would support continued development of the GPS III satellite program with a first launch in FY14. The somewhat delayed target date appears to match the prediction of the GPS Wing that the first GPS III launch would be set back a few months as a result of Congressional cuts in the FY08 GPS budget.By Glen Gibbons