Jan 2015 | No Comment

Newest GPS satellite goes active

The fourth modernized GPS satellite launched this year has completed inorbit testing and joined the constellation. Launched from Cape Canaveral atop a ULA Atlas 5 rocket on Oct. 29, the GPS 2F-8 satellite became an active member of the navigation network l, Boeing announced. The Boeing-built Block 2F series of a dozen spacecraft offer advanced atomic clocks, stronger anti-jamming, and a new third civil signal and longer design life.

China to roll out own Global Navigation System by 2020

China’s Beidou system will be fully operational by 2020, Xinhua news agency reported citing the head of China Aerospace Science and Technology corporation.

“The system’s completion will help nurture a satellite navigation industry chain, producing economic and social benefits in diversified fields, including mapping, telecommunications and disaster relief,” Lei Fanpei, said.

India to launch 4 navigation and 5 foreign satellites in 2015, says ISRO chief

ISRO will launch five foreign satellites apart from its own four navigation satellites and a communication satellite in 2015.

“We will be completing the IRNSS (Indian Regional Satellite Navigation System) constellation by launching four more satellites and operationalise the navigation system. The geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) rocket is getting ready to launch GSAT-6 communication satellite,” ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan said. He said astronomy satellite Astrosat will be launched in 2015.

FCC to authorize foreign GNSS signals for use in US

A rule largely aimed at opening trade in telecommunication services will require Russia and other international providers of GNSS services to apply for authorization before their navigation signals can be legally used in the United States, according to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) official. The provision will also require manufacturers to get multi-constellation receivers certified for U.S. use. The rule, which is implemented and enforced by the FCC, has its roots in the World Trade Organization Telecom Agreement of the late 1990s. It has only recently become an issue for the satellite navigation community as non- GPS GNSS constellations — known as radio navigation satellite systems (RNSS) in the world of radio spectrum regulation — have come into service.

New EGNOS service definition document released

The European GNSS Agency on behalf of the European Commission has released new version for the three EGNOS Service Definition Documents (SDD) already available for the EGNOS users:

• Safety of Life Service SDD (v2.1)

• EDAS Service SDD (v2.1)

These are the current versions in force for each of the EGNOS SDDs.

The EGNOS Service Definition Document (SDD) describes the characteristics and conditions of access to the corresponding EGNOS service offered to users. Each SDD also contains updated information about the EGNOS system architecture and a Signal- In-Space (SIS) characteristic, the service performance achieved, EGNOS interfaces with users and provides information on the established technical and organizational framework, at European level, for the provision of this service.

GSA earns ISO 9001 certification

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has been ISO 9001 certified for all its activities. ISO 9001 is an internationally recognised certification of an organisation’s quality management system standards. The GSA is one of three EU agencies who are ISO 9001 certified.

NASA seeks GNSS remote sensing innovations

NASA “seeks innovative approaches to the development of GNSS remote sensing techniques and algorithms to study the Earth’s environment from the ionosphere to Earth’s interior.” The announcement says NASA is seeking to emphasize the use of reflected GNSS signals for the characterization of the Earth’s surface and mitigation of natural hazards.

Notices of Intent are requested by January 20, 2015, and the due date for proposals is March 20, 2015. Visit the announcement page for details.

Cabs in Delhi and MP in India must have GPS

Delhi transport department, India has announced a modified radio taxi scheme that attempts to bring all appbased taxi services under its ambit. The rules call for mandatory GPS in all taxis, call centres to be run by cab companies, clean fuels such as CNG etc.

The Madhya Pradesh government has made GPS-based navigation system compulsory for all taxis. Police verification of drivers working for car-on-rent and taxi service operators have also been made mandatory.

GNSS researchers awarded Water Resources Prize

The GPS Reflections Group at the University of Colorado, Boulder, led by Dr Kristine M Larson, has received the Creativity Prize from the Council for the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water.

Larson and her colleagues — Dr. Eric E. Small (University of Colorado), Dr. Valery Zavorotny (NOAA) and Dr. John Braun (University Consortium for Atmospheric Research) — were selected for the prize based on their development of a new, unexpected, and cost-effective technique, GPS interferometric reflectometry (GPSIR), to measure soil moisture, snow depth, and vegetation water content.

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