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policy

November 30, 2016

Exit, Pursued by a Bear

American Election 2016 — now that was something, wasn’t it?

A national unpopularity contest. Sort of Commedia dell’arte meets Monty Python, directed by Todd Phillips, with a cameo appearance by Berlusconi.

Did we find it risible? Oh, yes, but were those tears of laughter, sorrow, or disbelief?

So, while we are collectively unpacking the meaning and nonsense from two years of political theater and telling each other our fortunes for the next four, what does it portend for GNSS?

Well, the tea leaves are a little unclear.

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By Dee Ann Divis

How Will GNSS Fare Under a Trump Administration?

With the Republican Party now entirely in charge of Washington’s prime policy real estate the neighborhood is going to change. The current residents are warily watching the newcomers take measurements for a major remodel of agencies, lobbying rules, national priorities, and international relationships, and everyone is assessing the implications of the new landscape.

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By Dee Ann Divis
October 17, 2016

ITAR Controls on Military GNSS Receivers Updated

The State Department last week published its final rule that updates export controls on military GNSS receivers through the U.S. Munitions List (USML).

The State Department-controlled USML, governed by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), moves GNSS receivers out of the USML spacecraft systems and related articles category. Instead, GNSS receivers are now controlled under the guidance and navigation systems category.

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By Inside GNSS
September 9, 2016

Changing the Rules

How do you win when you are really losing?

Play a different game, move the goalposts, change the rules.

For several years now, a series of would-be wireless broadband service providers have been attempting to convince the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to repurpose radio frequency spectrum near the GPS L1 band.

Past efforts have failed because of the transmissions’ demonstrated harmful effects on GPS and other GNSS signals. Now a new contender is trying to gain FCC’s approval by changing the way that those effects are measured.

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By Inside GNSS

Geolocation Privacy

Reasonable Expectations of Privacy and a discussion of privacy in the United States typically begins with the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which provides that “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” In U.S. v Katz, the U.S. Supreme Court found that this Fourth Amendment protection created an individual’s constitutional right to privacy.

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By Ingo Baumann
June 30, 2016

Air Force Declares Nunn-McCurdy Breach on the New GPS Operational Control System

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James declared a critical Nunn-McCurdy breach on the GPS Next-Generation Operational Control System (OCX) today (June 30, 2016).

After a December 2015 Program “Deep Dive,” Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall placed the OCX program under significant Department of Defense (DoD) oversight with quarterly reviews.

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By Inside GNSS
May 19, 2016

Re-Baseline This!

So, if everything had gone as planned, we would have a new ground control segment (OCX) operating a new generation of satellites (GPS III) as they launch into an expanded constellation in support of modernized military GPS user equipment (MGUE).

But then the best-laid plans. . . .

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By Inside GNSS

GNSS Evolutions for Maritime

Trends for marine accidents show rising numbers and costs that are mainly associated with collisions and groundings. Research indicates that about 60 percent of these accidents are caused by human error. The majority of them could have been avoided by providing suitable input to the navigation decision-making process, according to a 2008 report by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Marine Safety Committee. (See IMO 2008 in Additional Resources section near the end of this article.).

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By Günter W. Hein
March 28, 2016

Up in the AIRR

Anyone who has sat through several iterations of a slide presentation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a better way to do things.

As speakers flip through an exhaustively vetted series of PowerPoint slides, squeezing out a new bullet point or two from one version to the next six months later, watching paint dry seems like a more productive — and briefer — use of one’s time. The agency sometimes brings a whole new meaning to the concept of geological time.

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By Dee Ann Divis
March 18, 2016

How Privatizing Air Traffic Control Could Affect Satellite Navigation’s Role in Aviation

The satellite-based NextGen program is in trouble — no question about it.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic modernization effort will likely cost triple its original $40-billion program budget and need an extra decade — until 2035 or beyond — to reach completion, according to 2014 testimony by Department of Transportation (DoT) Inspector General Calvin Scovel.

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By Dee Ann Divis
November 29, 2015

Failure to Communicate

For an organization with its name, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a remarkably opaque public entity. 

Such is the case with the agency’s inaction on requests by foreign GNSS services to waive the so-called FCC Part 25 rules that require licensing of non-Federal receive-only Earth stations (e.g., GNSS receivers) operating with non-U.S. licensed space stations (i.e., satellites). 

Although at least one such request has reportedly been submitted, the FCC has not even acknowledged it, let alone moved to render a decision on the request. 

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By Inside GNSS