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system infrastructure/technology

June 22, 2011

GLONASS, Galileo Finances Star at Paris Air Show

The two Soyuz ST-B launchers and Fregat-MT upper stages arrived at Kourou harbor on June 18 are the most powerful Soyuz-Fregat combination available, intended to launch the four Galileo IOV satellites. Arianespace photo

Supporters of Europe’s Galileo system got some good news today (June 22, 2011) at the Paris Air Show: savings in the program have freed up funds that may be able to support acquisition of at least six additional spacecraft by 2014.

Taking part in a signing ceremony for the final Galileo work packages, European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani announced that improved program management and cost-cutting by industry vendors could free up €300 million ($482.8 million) — enough to ensure that 24 satellites could be launched by 2015.

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By Inside GNSS
April 18, 2011

Modernization Times

Enterprise Baseline Schedule

Col. Bernie Gruber, commander of the GPS Directorate since June 2010, works in a busy place.

Through its various incarnations since being established in 1974 — as Joint Program Office, Air Force Wing, and now Directorate — the GPS program at the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, has been at the center of the action.

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By Inside GNSS
January 25, 2011

Three GPS Satellites Moved Into New Positions for More Robust, Accurate Signals

(Update June 15, 2011 Inside GNSS) Completion of Satellite Repositioing Optimizes GPS Constellation

By next June, the United States GPS constellation will attain the most optimal geometry in its nearly 33-year history. Over time, that means a more robust signal, more accuracy and more reliability in GPS-challenged environments.

The 50th Space Wing is in the middle of maneuvering six GPS satellites into more favorable positions. The two-phase operation, called "Expandable-24"  is halfway to completion.

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By Inside GNSS
December 31, 2010

Handicapping the GNSS Horse Race

Horses racing by Margret Hofheinz-Doering 1956

Return to "GNSS Year in Review"

We’ve come a long ways from the attitudes of the Cold War environment in which the Global Positioning System and GLONASS programs arose.

But that doesn’t mean that GNSS competition is a thing of the past. Indeed, the second most-read item on the Inside GNSS website during this year was a March 2009 article entired “GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Compass: What GNSS Race? What Competition?”

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By Inside GNSS
December 30, 2010

Europe’s Galileo Reaches Many 2010 Milestones – but Satellite Launches Still Delayed

Soyuz launch of IOV satellite. ESA illustration

Europe’s Galileo space-based navigation system still awaits launch of its first in-orbit validation (IOV) satellites — now set for August 2011 — but the program is rolling out a steady stream of announcements of milestones reached.

Most recently, European Commission (EC) and European Space Agency (ESA) officials inaugurated the Fucino Galileo Control Center, 130 kilometers (81 miles) east of Rome, which will be responsible for the Ground Mission Segment.

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By Inside GNSS

GPS Directorate Completes Annual AGER Review

Col. Bernard Gruber

The GPS Directorate completed its second Annual GPS Enterprise Review (AGER) on December 17, concluding that the program has achieved major milestones in developing and deploying modernized GPS capabilities.

Col. Bernard Gruber, GPS program director at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, led his team through a Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) review chaired by Frank Kendall, deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, and attended by other senior Department of Defense (DoD) officials.

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By Inside GNSS
November 5, 2010

LMCO Ships GPS III Simulator to Aerospace Corporation, Maintains Program Schedule Lead

Artist’s illustration of GPS III. Lockheed Martin image

The Aerospace Corporation has completed acceptance testing on the GPS III Bus Real Time Simulator (BRTS) from the Lockheed Martin–led team developing the next-generation satellite program, keeping the initiative ahead of schedule.

The BRTS is a specialized piece of test equipment designed to reduce risk and ensure overall mission success for the lifecycle of the GPS III program. The simulator will enable Aerospace Corporation to independently validate GPS III bus flight software for the U.S. Air Force.

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By Inside GNSS
November 1, 2010

2011 European Navigation Conference

ENC 2011, the European Satellite Navigation conference, will be organized by the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN) at London’s new Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in the heart of the City.  The hotel is next to St. Paul’s cathedral and close to Oxford and Regent streets.

The annual ENC focuses on European satellite navigation developments. It is hosted by EUGIN, the European Group of Insitutes of Navigation.

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By Inside GNSS
September 28, 2010

Norway, EC Sign Galileo Agreement

Norway and the European Commission signed a cooperation agreement on satellite navigation last week (September 22) that will make the Scandinavian nation — which is a member of the European Space Agency (ESA) but not the European Union — a fuller participant in the EU’s GNSS program.

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By Inside GNSS
July 30, 2010

Latest Updates on Satellite Navigation — Only at NaviForum Shanghai 2010

[Reprinted with permission from NAVIBIZ, Issue Date: 2010-7-23]

On June 2, China successfully launched the fourth BeiDou navigation satellite into the pre-designated orbit, symbolizing that China has made another important step forward in building the BeiDou (COMPASS) Navigation Satellite System. As is known to all, satellite navigation and positioning system is the key strategic infrastructure for information, and it will influence the process of social civilization and change people’s ideas about life, time and space.

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By Inside GNSS