Washington View

November 18, 2013

OCX and GPS Cybersecurity

The GPS program is setting a new space-system standard for cyberdefense, and now the federal government is creating a framework to help operators of critical infrastructure that largely rely on GPS to do the same.

The need to raise the bar is clear. Malicious coders, often backed by hostile nation-states or criminal organizations, are using automated tools to continuously probe for weaknesses:

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By Dee Ann Divis
July 18, 2013

Location, Location, Location

In a part of the world where frustrated drivers will park anywhere, including squarely on a sidewalk, a local newspaper is using location data to shame car owners into shaping up.

The Village, a Russian online publication serving Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev; created a free app that notes a badly parked vehicle’s make, color, and license plate information when users snap its picture.

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By Dee Ann Divis
June 4, 2013

Air Force Proposes Dramatic Redesign for GPS Constellation

[Updated June 3, 2013] With the budget vise tightening, top Pentagon managers are readying some potentially dramatic changes to the GPS constellation — changes that promise to lower both the cost of the satellites and the expense of putting them into orbit.  

The first changes would be subtle and are linked to buying the next block of GPS III satellites — a decision that sources confirm will be made by the end of September.  

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By Dee Ann Divis
March 18, 2013

It’s Complicated

It’s spring and privacy proposals are popping up in abundance, threatening to complicate the lives of law enforcement officers, spoil the landscape for some location-based businesses, and choke off the U.S. market for commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) before it gets off the ground.

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By Dee Ann Divis
January 23, 2013

More Than Money Worries

Navigation users may benefit from GPS modernization sooner than expected thanks to an apparent shift in the schedule of the modernized GPS ground control segment still under development.

The change means that full operational implementation of the new signals will come earlier in the delayed modernization of the operational control Segment (OCS).

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By Dee Ann Divis
November 18, 2012

Taking Turns at the Fiscal Cliff

The GPS program has taken a fiscal hit that will delay critical plans to begin multi-satellite launches and could ultimately hamper the Air Force’s ability to keep the constellation at its current level of service.

The shortfall is just one of the challenges facing the program over the next four months as the current six-month budget extension winds down, the government’s ability to borrow runs out, and, barring a fast political deal, the onerous budget cuts set up under sequestration kick in.

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By Dee Ann Divis
September 3, 2012

GPS Civil Funding

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has told those awaiting their slice of the GPS civil program budget that the funds are on the way.

The money, which is supposed to support that portion of the GPS program springing from the needs of civilian users, has been held up for months. In fact, as of late August — with less than 40 days left to go in the fiscal year — the money had not been transferred to either the military’s GPS Directorate or the National Coordination Office (NCO) for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT).

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By Dee Ann Divis
March 29, 2012

LightSquared Fallout May Prompt Push for GPS Receiver Standards

The firefight between LightSquared and the GPS community has sparked regulatory brush fires around Washington with the Federal Communications Commission  (FCC), Congress, a half dozen executive agencies, and numerous companies moving to address a new and likely larger battle over receiver standards, radio frequency spectrum efficiency, and RF spectrum protection.

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By Dee Ann Divis