Apr 2014 | No Comment

IRNSS-1B successfully launched

ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C24, successfully launched IRNSS-1B, the second satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) on April 04, 2014. After a fl ight of about 19 minutes, IRNSS-1B Satellite, weighing 1432 kg, was injected to an elliptical orbit of 283 km X 20,630 km, which is very close to the intended orbit.

IRNSS-1B is the second of the seven satellites constituting the space segment of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. IRNSS-1A, the first satellite of the constellation, was successfully launched by PSLV on July 02, 2013. IRNSS-1A is functioning satisfactorily from its designated geosynchronous orbital position. IRNSS would provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Services (SPS) – provided to all users – and Restricted Services (RS), provided only to authorised users. A number of ground stations responsible for the generation and transmission of navigation parameters, satellite control, satellite ranging and monitoring, etc., have been established in as many as 15 locations across the country.

Two more satellites of this constellation, namely, IRNSS-1C and IRNSS-1D, are planned to be launched in the second half of 2014. The entire IRNSS constellation of seven satellites is planned to be completed by 2015-16.

Russia’s Glonass GPS system suffers major disruption

Users of satellite navigation systems around the world were experiencing problems recently after Russia’s Glonass satellite positioning system was hit by a major disruption. So far, the cause of the problem is a mystery. Most of the 24 satellites that make up the Glonass constellation began broadcasting erroneous data about their locations. The ability of satellite positioning receivers to provide an accurate fix is tied to the accuracy of the signal from space, so the problem immediately affected users.

A status graph on the website of Russia’s Federal Space Agency confirmed the error impacted all Glonass satellites at some point, with the system finally returning to full health around 11 hours after the trouble began. Despite the widespread disruption, the space agency has yet to provide details about what caused it.

Soyuz space rocket with Glonass-M navsat launched

The Soyuz-2.1b rocket with a Glonass-M navigation satellite has been launched from Plesetsk spaceport. The GLONASS system is intended for operational navigationand- timing support to an unlimited number of land-, sea-, air-, and spacebased users.

Precise monitoring of bad weather using unique GPS system onboard airplanes

GPS on-board airplanes will now help detect precise conditions in the atmosphere and better predict weather conditions and improve hurricane forecasting across the globe.

The new system, led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography geophysicist Jennifer Haase and her colleagues captures detailed meteorological readings at different elevations at targeted areas of interest, such as over the Atlantic Ocean in regions where hurricanes might develop. The instrumentation, which the scientists labelled “GISMOS” (Global Navigation Satellite System Instrument System for Multistatic and Occultation Sensing), increased the number of atmospheric profiles for studying the evolution of tropical storms by more than 50%.

GPS III program faces cuts, more delays in 2015 budget

The Air Force is planning to slow the development of the Global Positioning System III satellite program as a part of cuts detailed in the President’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request that was unveiled on March 5.

The Air Force originally planned to purchase two GPS III satellites next year, but now it is only planning on buying one. The GPS III satellites are expected to affordably replace current GPS satellites while providing additional capabilities. They are designed to be more accurate and more resistant to jamming techniques, while also having a longer lifespan.

Rx Networks Launches BeiDou Services

Rx Networks Inc has completed the upgrade of its GPStream GRN™ (Global Reference Network) to include the BeiDou constellation. A top-tier GNSS semiconductor vendor has already incorporated this new feature so their platform can take advantage of the extra satellites now available in the BeiDou constellation.

Global real-time assistance and high accuracy long-term orbit and clock prediction products are now uniformly available across the GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou constellations. In Q2/2014, BeiDou support will also extend to GPStream PGPS™ – Rx Networks’ popular synthetic A-GNSS software that has been deployed in over 100 million smartphones and personal navigation.

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