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Apr 2018 | No Comment

Discover more with new Ordnance Survey GPS Devices

Ordnance Survey (OS) has announced the launch of four new off-road OS GPS navigation devices for walking, hiking and off-road cycling. The innovative GPS units are a first for OS, and have been designed for ease-ofuse straight out of the box. They boast the trusted accuracy that you would expect from Ordnance Survey, combined with advanced performance features. Covering the areas you choose, each device comes with up to 12 tiles of OS’s world-famous leisure mapping, giving access to up to 8,000 km2 of continually updated maps in either 1:50,000 or 1:25,000 scale. www.os.uk/gps

Method to stop cyber attacks on GPS-enabled devices

A new study by researchers Nikolaos Gatsis, David Akopian and Ahmad F. Taha and their graduate student Ali Khalajmehrabadi from the UTSA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering describes a computer algorithm that mitigates the effects of spoofed GPS attacks on electrical grids and other GPS-reliant technologies. This new algorithm has the potential to help cybersecurity professionals to better detect and prevent cyber attacks in real time.

The U.S. electrical power grid, for example, depends on GPS to give time stamps for its measurements at stations across the country. Although reliable, researchers in laboratories across the world have shown that the system can be vulnerable to spoofing cyber-attacks that can disrupt the system’s time and location data.

The trio’s algorithm, which can be applied to cell phones or computers as easily as a new app, has the ability to recognize false GPS signals and counter an attack while it occurs. Their main focus has been preventing attacks on the American electrical power grid, but the algorithm is applicable to several different devices. /www.utsa.edu

U.S. Air Force awards GPS III launch services contract

The U.S. Air Force has awarded a GPS III satellite launch contract to SpaceX. This is the third GPS III launch contract awarded; the previous two also were awarded to SpaceX.

The launch contract provides the government with a total launch solution for the GPS III mission, including launch vehicle production, mission integration, launch operations and spaceflight certification. The launches will take place from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station or Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The GPS III missions are planned to launch between late 2019 and 2020. SpaceX won two previous GPS III launch contracts, one awarded in March 2017 and one in April 2016.

Iridium terminals authorized by FCC

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has refused to take action on concerns expressed by the GPS community, approving an Iridium request to modify its earth station licenses to take advantage of the advanced capabilities of its second-generation constellation.

The company is in the process of launching Iridium NEXT, a cross-linked network of 66 new spacecraft offering higher speeds and bandwidth for marine, aviation and land-mobile (handset/voice) operations as well as connectivity for global mobile networks, asset tracking and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Iridium’s Low Earth Orbit satellites offer lower latency than geostationary telecommunications satellites. The new services will be available through Iridium’s new Certus service platform and should eventually provide data and telecommunication speeds of 1.4 megabits per second, the company said.

To tap its new satellite’s advances Iridium sought FCC permission in 2017 to operate a new generation of user terminals – a request that was treated cautiously by the GPS community.

The GPS Innovation Alliance (GPSIA) filed comments expressing concern about out-of-band emissions (OOBE), asking the FCC to protect GPS/ RNSS operations in the 1559-1610 MHz band by setting limitations on the operation of Certus terminals.

According to Iridium, it would comply with a -70 dBW/MHz limit for out of band emissions in the band, noted GPSIA, but that that “may not mean that GPS and RNSS receivers operating in the 1559- 1610 MHz band will be protected.”

China launches two more satellites for BeiDou navigation system

Following the successful launch of a pair of BeiDou satellites on Jan. 11, China has launched two more navigation satellites into medium Earth orbits.

The newly launched pair are BeiDou-3 28 and 29. The satellites are part of a third phase of Beidou deployment, which will take Beidou coverage from regional to covering the countries along the Belt and Road initiative by the end of 2018, and global by 2020.

According to a website, the satellites are using a new bus featuring a phased array antenna for navigation signals and a laser retroreflector, with a launch mass of 1,014 kg. The accuracy, stability and signal strength of the Beidou-3 satellites is improved over previous versions by developments in atomic clocks, laser communications and inter-satellite links.

GLONASS Support to Piksi Multi by Swift Navigation

Swift Navigation has announced the latest firmware upgrade to its flagship product Piksi Multi GNSS module. The firmware release also enhances Duro, the ruggedized version of the Piksi Multi receiver housed in a militarygrade, weatherproof enclosure designed specifically for outdoor deployments. It provides full support for GLONASS, in addition to the GPS satellite constellation. www.satellitetoday.com

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