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Military – Defense

Answering the Call for a GNSS Back-up

A government report commissioned by Innovate UK, along with the UK Space Agency and the Royal Institute of Navigation, entitled “Economic impact to the UK of a disruption to GNSS”, comes in the wake of troubling incidents for GNSS operators, both the United States and Europe.

Last year a problem with the GPS satellite timing signal triggered alarms and caused an unknown number of outages, and in Europe earlier this year the fledgling Galileo signal crashed due to unspecified ground facility issues.

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By Peter Gutierrez

GPS Expert Scott Pace Named to National Space Council

Scott Pace, a grand master of space policy with particular expertise in satellite navigation, has been chosen by the White House to be executive secretary of the newly revived and potentially powerful National Space Council.

"Ever since the Trump Administration indicated that it would re-establish the Space Council," wrote Marcia Smith of spacepolicyonline.com, "his is virtually the only name rumored to be in the running to serve as the head of its staff."

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By Dee Ann Divis
July 5, 2017

Rockwell Collins Fulfills GPS M-Code receiver order for Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center

The M-Code receiver operates using a more powerful signal, resistant to cyber threats. Photo source: Rockwell Collins.

Rockwell Collins recently delivered the last of a 770 Military-Code (M-Code) GPS receiver order to the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (USAF SMC). Committed to the Military GPS User Equipment (MGUE) program, the M-Code receiver operates using a more powerful signal, resistant to cyber threats.

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By Dee Ann Divis
June 29, 2017

Air Force, Congress Face Off over Space Program Management

The U.S. Air Force is in a tug of war with congressional lawmakers over how military space programs will be managed going forward.

The House Armed Services Subcommittee (HASC) Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, this week threw his support behind a measure to move Space Command out from under the Air Force, placing it instead within U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), one of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) nine unified commands.

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By Inside GNSS
June 26, 2017

Second Lockheed Martin GPS III Satellite Assembled, Ready to Begin Environmental Testing

Lockheed Martin’s second GPS III satellite is now assembled and preparing for environmental testing, and the third satellite is close behind, having just received its navigation payload.

In a specialized cleanroom designed to streamline satellite production, the company is in full production building GPS III – the world’s most powerful GPS satellites, near Denver, Colorado.

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By Inside GNSS
June 23, 2017

Galileo Gains 8 Satellites; Navigation Constellation Reaches Completion

The European Space Agency (ESA) signed a contract Thursday with a German-British consortium to build eight additional satellites for its Galileo navigation constellation.

The deal, which brings the Galileo navigation constellation to completion, was signed at the International Paris Air Show with German company OHB System AG as the prime contractor, and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. overseeing the navigation platforms.

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By Inside GNSS
June 22, 2017

New Reports on Performance Standards Confirm GPS’s “Gold Standard” Status for PNT

The U.S. Air Force last week released two technical reports demonstrating that GPS continues to deliver exceptional performance to civilian users around the world. The 2014 and 2015 performance reports confirm that the GPS Standard Positioning Service (SPS) satisfied nearly all measurable performance commitments documented in the GPS SPS Performance Standard, furthering the status of GPS as the “Gold Standard” for positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT).

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By Inside GNSS
June 15, 2017

White House Boosts GPS Budget, GPS III Procurement Decision Still Pending

Maj. Gen. Roger Teague, the director of space programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition. Photo courtesy of Air Force.

The White House is asking Congress to boost overall funding for the GPS program back over $1 billion, with the largest infusion of new money earmarked to cover the cost growth of the Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX).

If approved, overall spending on the GPS program would reach $1.09 billion in fiscal year 2018 (FY18) with funding for OCX surging to $510.94 million from the $393.27 million allocated by Congress for FY17.

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By Dee Ann Divis
May 29, 2017

Get Galileo on Board

For several years the European Union (EU) has sought a waiver for its Galileo system from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing requirements — the so-called Part 25 rule to operate in this country.

Long-overdue approval of the request should be expedited by the FCC.

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By Inside GNSS