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January 31, 2013

European Space Policy: Jobs the Bottom Line for Budget Battle, Galileo

MEP Dominique Riquet: “We will not say yes to a budget that cripples our space programs.” Peter Gutierrez photo.

Although they use a different vocabulary than their U.S. counterparts, European political leaders say that jobs would be the victims at the bottom of their fiscal cliff.

In his keynote speech to the 5th Space Conference on European Space Policy (subtitled “A Global Tool for Global Challenge” held this week in Brussels, European Commission (EC) Vice-President Antonio Tajani underlined the important role of space for restoring economic growth and employment.

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By Inside GNSS

UK/US Deal on GPS Signal Patent Omits Galileo Version

A recently announced deal between the United States and the United Kingdom to revoke the UK’s surprise patents on a key GPS technology has a glaring omission: Intentionally left out of the agreement are patents on the European Union’s version of the technology, a signal structure important to enabling Europe’s Galileo system to work seamlessly with America’s GPS constellation.

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By Inside GNSS

Location Privacy Bill Moves to Senate Floor

U.S. Capitol photo by DAVID ILIFF. Wikimedia Creative Commons License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Setting the stage for action in the next Congress, a Senate committee approved privacy legislation last Thursday (December 13, 2012) that would, with some exceptions, require companies using geolocation data for apps and navigation services to get express permission from users before collecting or sharing that information.

The bill not only applies to the apps now commonly found on smart phone and tablets but also specifically to “geolocation information services” and devices that are in or “part of a vehicle.”

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By Inside GNSS

Meet the New European GNSS Agency: Much the Same, Only Different

Coming nearly full circle and yet ending up in a new place with a new name describes the peculiar fortunes of the European GNSS Agency, an unlikely fate perhaps reflected most clearly in its continued use of its predecessor’s acronym, GSA.

Five years ago when Europe’s GNSS program abandoned its seemingly misconceived and now roundly condemned effort to forge a public-private partnership (PPP) to develop Galileo, the original GSA — the Galileo Supervisory Authority — appeared orphaned, bereft of purpose and patrons.

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By Inside GNSS
December 11, 2012

London Conference Beats Drum for Galileo Acceptance

The accompanying figure shows the acquisition results of the FM3 Galileo satellite (PRN 11) E1b data channel, as computed by the NAVigation Signal Analysis and Simulation (NavSAS) group of the Politecnico di Torino/Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB) in Italy. The upper plot shows the search space along ±7 kHz Doppler frequency, while the lower one shows the search space along 4 millisecond code delay. The coherent integration time used to obtain this search space was 4 milliseconds, coupled with 11 noncoherent accumulations.

The third Galileo in-orbit validation (IOV) satellite, also known as Flight Model 3 (FM), began transmitting signals last week, and the FM4 spacecraft, like the FM3 launched on October 12, is expected to come on-line soon — providing the theoretical capability of 3D positioning using solely satellites of Europe’s GNSS system.

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By Inside GNSS
November 30, 2012

House Panel Suggests Harm Threshold Rather Than Receiver Standards

Members of a key technical advisory group told members of Congress this week that a more creative use of interference limits was preferable to setting receiver standards as the way to expand the use of scarce spectrum.

Although the committee focus was on communication devices in general, the issue of GPS receivers and the recent controversy involving LightSquared’s proposed ground-based wireless broadband service.

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By Inside GNSS

DoT Gives GPS Spectrum Protection Team Award

The GPS Spectrum Protection Team has received the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) Partnering for Excellence Award for outstanding performance in support of the government and industry-wide assessment of potential impacts to GPS operations and safety.

The spectrum protection team played an important role in responding to the proposed LightSquared wireless broadband system’s spectrum plan.

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By Inside GNSS
November 29, 2012

U.S. Space-Based PNT Executive Leadership to Change

A top leadership change is under way at one of the most important U.S. GPS policy and management organizations, the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Coordination Office (NCO).

Anthony (Tony) Russo, who has served as NCO director for the past three years — and as deputy director for two years before that, has accepted a new position with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

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By Inside GNSS
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
November 17, 2012

They’re Back: LightSquared Tries New Route to Wireless Broadband, Later for Nearby GPS Band

With the election finally over, and the chain of decision makers now largely clear, the spectrum war between LightSquared and the GPS community is heating up again with new fronts opening at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Congress.

The focus of the action are changes to rules governing spectrum and receivers that, if enacted, could enable LightSquared to move forward with its plans for a high-powered, terrestrial broadband network.

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By Inside GNSS
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