history Archives - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design


July 4, 2015

Editor Glen Gibbons Honored by British Navigators for GNSS Journalism

Inside GNSS editor Glen Gibbons and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Dan Charity photo

Inside GNSS editor and publisher Glen Gibbons has received a high honor from the United Kingdom’s Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN) for his "outstanding contribution to navigation" as a journalist and publisher.

The 2015 Harold Spencer-Jones Gold Medal was presented to Gibbons by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II, on July 15 at the Royal Geographical Society in London. The duke is the patron of the institute.

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By Inside GNSS
May 26, 2015

Still Not a Thing, Part 2

One of the first feature articles I wrote as a newly minted GNSS magazine editor 26 years ago was about an advanced rail traffic management system based on GPS that Burlington Northern, with the help of Rockwell Collins, had designed and implemented.

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By Inside GNSS
March 20, 2015

Flying Blind

It’s 10 p.m. somewhere over the vast oceans that comprise three-quarters of the Earth’s surface. Do you know where your airplane is?

Well, you could, but maybe you don’t.

The anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 came and went in March with the fate of the Boeing 777 still unknown.

It didn’t have to happen.

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By Inside GNSS
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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
January 17, 2012

After Longitude – Modern Navigation in Context

Cadets with sextants circa 1930 (from National Maritime Museum collections)

The "After Longitude" symposium covers what happened in between Harrison’s clocks and geospatial PNT. It is sponsored by the British National Maritime Museum and the Royal Institute of Navigation.

The event takes place on March 22 and 23 at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. 

Speakers on Thursday, March 22 will cover the earlier history of navigation. On Friday, topics include:

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By Inside GNSS
March 4, 2010

Peter Chapman-Andrews New Director of Royal Institute of Navigation

Capt. Peter Chapman-Andrews

Peter Chapman-Andrews replaced David Broughton as director of Britain’s Royal Institute of Navigation in January. He will be the fourth director since RIN was founded in 1947.

Chapman is a graduate of Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. He served as Queen’s Harbor Master, Portsmouth, and as fleet navigation officer on the staff of CinC fleet. He also served as aircraft director officer, principal warfare officer, navigation officer and ship’s commander during his career in the Royal Navy. He retired  in 2004 with the rank of captain.

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By Inside GNSS
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January 12, 2010

The Return of Ashtech: A GNSS Pioneer Leaves Magellan Brand Behind

François Erceau, Ashtech vice-president & general manager

One of the oldest names in the GNSS industry — Ashtech — is returning to the marketplace as both a corporate identity and branded product line.

Magellan Professional announced January 7 that the France- and California-based company had renamed itself Ashtech, confirming the staying power of a precision technology brand that first appeared in 1987.

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By Inside GNSS
August 6, 2009

Upcoming Block IIR-(21)M Launch Wraps Up Generation of GPS Satellites

The scheduled August 17 launch of GPS satellite IIR-(21)M — also known by its space vehicle number SVN50 — will mark the end of a couple of eras: the final launch of the Lockheed Martin–built replenishment generation (Block IIR) of GPS satellites and the last Air Force launch using the Delta II rocket.

Notably, SVN50 will not have a payload connected to the J2 reserve auxiliary payload port that proved problematical with the L5 demonstration payload on the previous GPS satellite, SVN49, and possibly on other Block IIR/IIRMs.

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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
January 17, 2008

AFIT Releases GPS System Engineering Case Study

The GPS constellation, as illustrated 30 years ago.

While awaiting the arrival of the definitive history of the Global Positioning System, students of the premier GNSS program might want to take a look at a systems engineering case study released last month by the Center for Systems Engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

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By Glen Gibbons
March 2, 2007

More Perils for Galileo . . . and Other GNSS Dramas

A convergence of developments over the past few months has brought Europe’s Galileo program to the most critical passage of its history — at least, since final approval of the GNSS initiative by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union (EU) in 2003 and 2004, respectively.

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By Inside GNSS