Aerospace and Defense



In May 2008, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company received a contract from the U.S. Air Force to develop a new, third generation of GPS satellites. The GPS III space vehicle (SV) has been designed (Figure 1, see inset photo, above right) and is now being built to bring new future capabilities to both military and civil positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) users throughout the globe.

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By Inside GNSS
July 28, 2011

GNSS Hotspots

One of 12 magnetograms recorded at Greenwich Observatory during the Great Geomagnetic Storm of 1859
1996 soccer game in the Midwest, (Rick Dikeman image)
Nouméa ground station after the flood
A pencil and a coffee cup show the size of NASA’s teeny tiny PhoneSat
Bonus Hotspot: Naro Tartaruga AUV
Pacific lamprey spawning (photo by Jeremy Monroe, Fresh Waters Illustrated)
“Return of the Bucentaurn to the Molo on Ascension Day”, by (Giovanni Antonio Canal) Canaletto
The U.S. Naval Observatory Alternate Master Clock at 2nd Space Operations Squadron, Schriever AFB in Colorado. This photo was taken in January, 2006 during the addition of a leap second. The USNO master clocks control GPS timing. They are accurate to within one second every 20 million years (Satellites are so picky! Humans, on the other hand, just want to know if we’re too late for lunch) USAF photo by A1C Jason Ridder.
Detail of Compass/ BeiDou2 system diagram
Hotspot 6: Beluga A300 600ST

Buenos Aires, Argentina and Vandenberg AFB, California, USA

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By Inside GNSS
July 26, 2011

The Fire Next Time

What have we learned from the LightSquared fiasco?

Aside from the fact that someone gambling with other people’s money, with friends in high places benefiting from his largesse, can make the law stand on its head and our hair stand on end.

But then, we already knew that.

Just because the forces behind the broadband cellular company, Philip Falcone and Harbinger Investments, made their money by betting against the housing bubble doesn’t take away from the fact that they represent the same crew who helped take down the world economy in 2007.

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By Inside GNSS
July 5, 2011

Lockheed Martin Team Completes GPS IIIB System Design Review

GPS III satellite. Lockheed Martin illustration

Lockheed Martin has announced the successful, on-schedule completion of a system design review (SDR) for the second-phase of next-generation GPS satellite development, the IIIB increment.

The company’s Space Systems division in Newtown, Pennsylvania, is under contract to produce the first two of a planned eight GPS IIIA satellites, with first launch projected for 2014. The contract includes a Capability Insertion Program (CIP) designed to mature technologies and perform rigorous systems engineering for future GPS III increments.

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By Inside GNSS
July 2, 2011

Cars on the Road!

FIGURE 1: System architecture

Cooperative vehicle safety applications should preferably have two-meter horizontal accuracy and six-meter vertical accuracy, all with a 95-percent availability. The solution must be developed to incorporate lower-cost sensor options, specifically, lower-cost inertial measurement units that can be generally characterized by the gyro drift of 100 degrees per hour and an accelerometer bias force of twice its mass times gravity (two milligals).

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By Inside GNSS

Air Traffic Control Modernization: FAA, NextGen, GNSS, and Avionics Equipage

Mike Dyment, General Partner, NextGen Equipage Fund LLC

» Air Traffic Control Modernization (PDF)

In between partisan confrontations around the 2011 federal budget and raising the U.S. debt limit, prospects are improving for federal legislation that would provide the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with a regular full-year budget for the first time since Fiscal Year 2007 — including support for completing the transition to a GNSS-driven air traffic control (ATC) system known as NextGen and a “public-private partnership” to equip aircraft with the needed avionics.

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By Inside GNSS
April 28, 2011

FY11 Budget Battle Over, GPS Looks Ahead to FY12

Resolution of the between Congressional Republicans and Democrats that threatened a shutdown of the federal government has clarified the picture for military GPS programs in the coming year, although prospects for the civil side remain uncertain.

On April 15, 2011, President Obama signed the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (H.R. 1473, Public Law 112-10), the last in a series of government-wide funding measures for Fiscal Year 2011 (FY11).

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By Inside GNSS
April 18, 2011

Keeping the Spoofs Out

The demand for techniques capable of authenticating the GNSS signals and detecting simulation attacks (spoofing) has increased exponentially in the last years, mainly targeted to financial and safety critical applications.

Associated proposals and developments addressing these issues focused on two different approaches: user segment authentication services that leveraged existing services in order to detect signal spoofing and that integrated signal authentication services into the GNSS system itself.

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By Inside GNSS