Washington View

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
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
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
June 16, 2015

Inside GNSS Columnist Gathers Another D.C. Correspondent Award

Dee Ann Divis, an Inside GNSS contributing editor who writes the magazine’s Washington View column, continues to garner journalistic awards.

On June 9 she received the Society of Professional Journalists D.C. Chapter’s award for 2015 “Washington Correspondent” for a series of articles on unmanned aerial systems (UAS) published in Inside GNSS last year.

Her 2015 award citation for the series entitled  “Empty Skies” emphasized the “well-detailed and comprehensive handling of a complex subject. . . .”

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By Dee Ann Divis
March 22, 2015

U.S. DoT Seeks Comments on eLoran Backup to GPS

The Federal Register will publish on Monday (March 23, 2015) a solicitation for public comment regarding “potential plans” by the U.S. government to implement an enhanced Long Range Navigation (eLoran) system as a complementary positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) capability to GPS.

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By Dee Ann Divis
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
June 18, 2013

SMC Signs CRADA to Certify SpaceX Falcon Launcher

The Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, has signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX, to certify the company’s Falcon launcher for future National Security Space (NSS) missions.

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By Dee Ann Divis
March 25, 2013

Civil Use of UAS

Chuck Johnson, NASA

Few domestic issues have evoked such excitement — and controversy — in recent years as a 2012 congressional mandate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to expand civil use of unmanned aerial systems in the National Airspace System (NAS).

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By Dee Ann Divis
March 20, 2013

Congress, States Proposes Bills on Location Privacy, UAVs

Congress is moving to limit the sharing of geolocation information.

The Online Communications and Geolocation Protection Act (HR 983), introduced on March 6, addresses a privacy loophole created by services like Gmail and social networking sites. Though law enforcement must get a warrant to access an archive of e-mail stored on your computer, the same protections do not exist for information voluntarily given to a third party.

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By Dee Ann Divis