June 13, 2019

GPS III: The Next Big Step in GPS Modernization

[Editor’s Note: This article was written and submitted by Mark Crews and John Betz.]

With the launch of the first next-generation GPS III satellite, GPS III Space Vehicle 01 (GPS III SV01), on December 23, 2018, the Global Positioning System (GPS) took a major step in modernizing technology and capability. The U.S. Air Force has continually improved GPS since the launch of the first GPS Block I satellite in 1978, and this ongoing modernization has provided new signals, greater accuracy, and increased robustness for civil and military users. After the first 10 GPS III satellites are launched over the next few years, up to 22 GPS III Follow-on (GPS IIIF) satellites will provide yet another step increase in GPS capabilities.

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By Inside GNSS
June 7, 2019

MITRE’s Betz Inducted into 2019 GPS Hall of Fame

GPS. It’s such an integral part of our lives, you don’t even need to spell it out. We just take it for granted.

But the U.S. Air Force doesn’t. That’s why the U.S.A.F. annually honors the pioneers behind the Global Positioning System, through its GPS Hall of Fame. The Air Force’s GPS Directorate recently added MITRE Fellow Emeritus John Betz to the list for his groundbreaking contributions to the system that guides us home and ensures military equipment accuracy.

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By Inside GNSS
May 30, 2019

Air Force Lab Plans R&D into Celestial-Aided Navigation Tech

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is considering a contract for research and development of celestial-aided navigation technologies. The primary focus is to develop a Star Tracker that can reliably perform celestial sightings for sensor altitudes between 30,000 feet and 80,000 feet. The goal is to reduce the risks to guidance, navigation and control in GPS-denied environments, especially for operations over feature-poor terrain such as desert, water, snow and ice where existing terrain-aided methods may not be used for position, navigation, and timing (PNT) updates.

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By Inside GNSS
May 22, 2019

Collins Aerospace Achieves Critical Security Certification for M-Code Common GPS Module

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (May 22, 2019) – Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp., has received the Global Positioning Systems Directorate (GPS-D) security certification from the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (USAF SMC) for its Military Code (M-Code) Common GPS Module (CGM). Security certification validates compliance to the stringent Military GPS User Equipment (MGUE) hardware and software security design specification. With security certification, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) can significantly expand MGUE receiver integration and testing locations supporting the operational deployment of M-Code.

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By Inside GNSS
March 28, 2019

Former Senior Intel Leader Gen. Denker Joins Lockheed Martin

HERNDON, Va., – The former deputy director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Major General (ret.) Stephen Denker, will join Lockheed Martin to lead key satellite ground programs, effective Monday, April 1. Denker will oversee Intelligence and Analytic Development programs in support of space ground systems within the Mission Solutions line of business for Lockheed Martin Space.

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By Inside GNSS
March 1, 2019

Pentagon Releases Space Force Proposal to Congress

The Pentagon Friday released its proposal for enabling legislation to create a Space Force, a new military branch expected to eventually comprise some 15,000 personnel.

“Establishing a Space Force is a strategic priority to facilitate the DOD’s preparation for the character of warfare in the twenty-first century,” the Department of Defense (DOD) wrote in an overview. “A sixth branch of the Armed Forces dedicated to space will catalyze a fundamental transformation of our approach to space from a combat support function to a domain of competition and potential conflict.”

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By Dee Ann Divis
February 14, 2019

Government Researchers Working to Address GPS Vulnerabilities

Two recent reports have underscored the threats to the GPS system from space-capable adversaries. Both the Worldwide Threat Assessment, released Jan. 30 by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and theDefense Intelligence Agency’s newly released Challenges to Security in Spacedetail the potential for China, Russia and others to damage the constellation or disrupt its signals.

With worries mounting about these risks, and the more mundane but still harmful prospect of regional jamming or spoofing, organizations throughout the U.S. government are working on ways to address vulnerabilities and find ways to operate without GPS.

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By Dee Ann Divis