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engineering

May 26, 2008

Xsens Offers SW/HW Upgrades for AHRS/GPS Products

MT Manager

Xsens Technologies B.V. has announced the release of a new version of the MT Software Development Kit (SDK) and new firmware for all of the Enschede, The Netherlands¬based company’s inertial motion trackers: MTi, MTi-G and MTx.

The software and firmware contain predefined settings for optimized orientation output in several specific application areas. Applications relying on data output for orientation, stabilization, or navigation will benefit.

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By Glen Gibbons
May 16, 2008

Lockheed Martin Wins GPS IIIA Contract

A team led by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company has won U. S. Air Force approval to build the GPS Block IIIA satellites under a contract valued at up to $3.568 billion.

The long-delayed decision was announced May 15. The acquisition covers the first of three sets of Block III satellites currently scheduled to begin launching in 2014.

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By Glen Gibbons
April 30, 2008

May 16: Deadline Extended for abstracts for NAVITEC 2008 – ESA workshop on satellite navigation user equipment technologies

The European Space Agency has extended until May 16 the deadline for paper abstracts for oral and poster presentations for NAVITEC 2008, ESA’s fourth workshop on satellite navigation user equipment technologies.

This year’s theme is "GNSS User Technologies in the Sensor Fusion Era." Galileo receiver technologies and experimentation are a special focus of this year’s event.

The workshop will take place from December 10-12 at the European Space and Technology Centre in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

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By Inside GNSS
April 14, 2008

Hemisphere GPS Announces Eclipse Developer Kit

Hemisphere GPS has released an OEM development kit for its Eclipse dual-frequency GPS receiver technology.

Development kits allow product designers and system integrators to more easily access and test all of the available features on an Eclipse board, simplifying the effort needed to reach a proof of concept and shortening the time required to bring a product to market.

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By Glen Gibbons
April 11, 2008

IfEN Receives ESA EGNOS-Related Contract

The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded a contract to IfEN GmbH to develop a “New Generation” receiver breadboard for use at the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) Ranging and Integrity Monitoring Stations (RIMS).

The RIMS New Generation breadboard will be capable of receiving the new L2C and L5 signals, the Galileo E1, E5ab, and E6 signals and the GLONASS L1 signal in addition to GPS L1 and L2P signals.

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By Glen Gibbons
April 8, 2008

GSA Releases Second Galileo SIS ICD

The European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) has released a new version of the provisional Galileo Open Service Signal-In-Space Interface Control Document (SIS ICD).

The new SIS ICD will enable developers to create products and applications that employ the Galileo system and signals. The new document is open for public consultation.

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By Glen Gibbons
April 4, 2008

Jules Verne Automatic Transfer Vehicle Guided to ISS by Thales Alenia GPS System

ATV Docking with International Space Station, NASA image

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.

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By Glen Gibbons
February 29, 2008

GPS civil signal design innovator elected president of U.S. Institute of Navigation

ION President Christopher Hegarty

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.

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By Inside GNSS
February 9, 2008

Ivanov GLONASS Flap Obscures Program Reality

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov’s criticism of Roscosmos and GLONASS continues to ripple in news columns around the world.
Widely reported in Russian media and picked up and amplified in derivative reports, Ivanov’s complaints focused on GLONASS’s relative inaccuracy, limited coverage, and lack of user equipment.

However, aside from the fact that the person making the remarks was Ivanov — a powerful figure once thought to be in line to succeed Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, none of this is really news. Rather, it seems like another example of the phenomenon that, when people learn of something for the first time, they assume it has just happened.

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By Glen Gibbons
February 7, 2008

Spirent Enhances A-GPS Conformance Testing Product

Spirent Communications plc, Crawley, UK, has announced the availability of two new capabilities for its UMTS Location Test Solution (ULTS) that will affect assisted GPS (A-GPS) implementation in mobile communication devices and location-based services (LBS): enhanced testing of secure user plane (SUPL) and wideband CDMA (WCDMA) signaling conformance testing.

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By Glen Gibbons
December 19, 2007

GPS Wing Exercises MUE Contract Options

The U.S. Air Force has exercised new options on contracts with three companies for development of GPS Modernized User Equipment (MUE) for future military applications.

Under the new awards, Raytheon will receive $65 million; Rockwell Collins, $50.7 million; and L-3/Interstate Electronics Corporation, $36 million. All options were awarded on or about October 19.

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By Glen Gibbons
November 26, 2007

Urban Challenge: GPS/Inertial Systems Help Win DARPA Race

“Boss,” Carnegie Mellon University’s entry in the DARPA Urban Challenge, crosses the finish line to win the race — and $2 million prize

Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University reversed the order of their finishes in the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, snaring first and second place, respectively, in the Urban Challenge finals held November 3 in Victorville, California.

Both entries incorporated POS LV (Position and Orientation Systems for Land Vehicles) integrated GPS/inertial systems from Applanix Corporation, of Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada.

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By Glen Gibbons