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January 18, 2015

The Party Crashers

These days getting the United States, Russia, China, and Europe to agree on a common policy seems to be an increasingly rare event.

That’s why the long-standing comity among system operators in the GNSS sphere is particularly notable and welcome. “Interoperable and compatible” is the first principle espoused by the four nations under the aegis of the International Committee on GNSS.

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By Dee Ann Divis
September 24, 2014

OCX Program Restructured, Delayed Again

Editor’s Note: An exclusive interview with Gen. Hyten is available here with more details.

Details are emerging about another restructuring of the contract for the new GPS ground system, a deal that pushes completion of the project back another two years and recasts the remaining work to fit within the Air Force’s strained financial profile.

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By Dee Ann Divis
July 27, 2014

The Next Big Mac

Here’s the coolest “technology-meets-ingenuity-meets-sustainable-economics” story that I’ve heard in a long time: the International Sun-Earth Explorer-3 (ISEE-3) Reboot Project, a crowd-funded rescue mission to repurpose a 36-year-old NASA spacecraft.

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By Dee Ann Divis
July 21, 2014

A Universal GNSS Software Receiver Toolbox

In recent years, numerous, relatively inexpensive hardware platforms for conducting scientific research using the software defined radio (SDR) paradigm have become commercially available. The Manufacturers section near the end of this article lists examples of several of these. In turn, this has spurred universities and research groups around the world to adopt this technology for advanced GNSS signals-based research and development.

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By Inside GNSS

Environmental Sensing

In the past 20 years GPS has simultaneously revolutionized both our modern infrastructure (by providing real-time navigation, mapping, and timing support) and our geodetic/surveying capabilities (by providing millimeter/centimeter-level positioning). At this point, most of the GNSS innovations we expect to see in the next decade will come from calculating positions more accurately and faster, while expanding from GPS to use of all available GNSS signals.

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By Inside GNSS

GPS Receiver Performance On Board a LEO Satellite

Equation 1

The small satellite “Technologie-Erprobungs-Träger 1” (TET-1) is the first spacecraft developed for the German Aerospace Center (DLR) On-Orbit-Verification (OOV) program, which provides flight opportunities dedicated to testing and qualification of new technologies in space. The satellite was lifted into a low-Earth orbit (LEO) on July 22, 2012, from the launch site in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

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By Inside GNSS

GNSS Hotspots

One of 12 magnetograms recorded at Greenwich Observatory during the Great Geomagnetic Storm of 1859
1996 soccer game in the Midwest, (Rick Dikeman image)
Nouméa ground station after the flood
A pencil and a coffee cup show the size of NASA’s teeny tiny PhoneSat
Bonus Hotspot: Naro Tartaruga AUV
Pacific lamprey spawning (photo by Jeremy Monroe, Fresh Waters Illustrated)
“Return of the Bucentaurn to the Molo on Ascension Day”, by (Giovanni Antonio Canal) Canaletto
The U.S. Naval Observatory Alternate Master Clock at 2nd Space Operations Squadron, Schriever AFB in Colorado. This photo was taken in January, 2006 during the addition of a leap second. The USNO master clocks control GPS timing. They are accurate to within one second every 20 million years (Satellites are so picky! Humans, on the other hand, just want to know if we’re too late for lunch) USAF photo by A1C Jason Ridder.
Detail of Compass/ BeiDou2 system diagram
Hotspot 6: Beluga A300 600ST

1. WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? 
Detroit, Michigan USA 

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By Inside GNSS

GPS Modernization Stalls

With the optimism of college-bound seniors touring the Ivy League, GPS managers have been weighing options to dramatically change the GPS constellation. Now, after studying the costs, considering the benefits, and assessing the funding climate, officials have made the starkly fiscal decision to stick close to home and take a few extra years to finish. 

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By Dee Ann Divis

New GNSS Signals

A. J. Van Dierendonck

The world’s GNSS systems are entering a phase of transformation — modernization of existing systems (the U.S. Global Positioning System and Russia’s GLONASS) and development of new systems (China’s BeiDou and Europe’s Galileo) that benefit from the lessons learned from the original GNSSs.

Notable among the modernization initiatives is an interest in implementing new satellite signal designs. These include the GPS L5, L2C, and L1C signals as well as those signals designed for Galileo and BeiDou. GLONASS designers are also working on modernized signals.

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By Inside GNSS