Mar 2017 | No Comment

uAvionix announces TSO for FYXNAV GNSS Position Source

uAvionix Corporation has announced FAA TSO C-199 approval of its FYXNAV GPS position source. Weighing only 27 grams, the $500 combination GPS receiver and antenna provides high integrity GPS inputs to drone autopilot navigation systems and ADS-B equipment. Integrity is a key part of aviation GPS systems, such as those used in Performance Based Navigation (PBN) principals – whereby aircraft systems are required to achieve certain specifications in order to perform specific functions, such as be used in a GPS approach to a runway. In order to meet the requirements of TSO C-199, FYXNAV implements integrity algorithms which monitor the health of each of the GPS satellites and excludes any from position calculations that exhibit anomalous behavior. Nonaviation grade GPS receivers typically do not include an integrity processor.

SpaceX completes space station delivery after navigation problem caused delay

SpaceX has completed its delivery to the International Space Station after fixing a navigation problem that held up the shipment by a day. Everything went smoothly the second time around as the station astronauts captured the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship as the two craft sailed over Australia.

Recently, a GPS system error prevented the capsule from coming too close.

Now leased by SpaceX, the pad had been idle since the close of the shuttle programme almost six years ago. The Dragon will remain at the space station for a month before it is cut loose to bring back science samples and other items. It is the only supply ship capable of returning intact to Earth, as all the others burn up during re-entry.

SpaceX is one of two private companies flying up supplies for Nasa. Besides the French astronaut, the space station is home to two Americans and three Russians.

GPS resiliency tests for critical infrastructure devices

The Department of Homeland Security in the USA is offering critical infrastructure component manufacturers a chance to test their wares against GPS disruption. Though GPS is best known to consumers for accurately determining locations, many of its most critical uses are from accurately determining time. GPS outages are not common, but are more than theoretical. In 2009, for example, Newark Liberty International Airport suffered GPS outages in an air traffic control system whenever a man, named Gary Bojczak, drove by.

Bojczak worked for an engineering firm that tracked the locations of company trucks through GPS and used a GPS jamming device to shake his boss’s surveillance. But whenever he passed the airport, a GPS outage passed with him. GPS signals can be disrupted through jamming, taking a device out of contact with the GPS satellite; or spoofed, tricked through a fake signal to miscalculate location or time.

NZ government contributes AU$2m to join Geoscience Australia’s positioning project

It is expected that the AU$2 million will be used to trial Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) technology over two years, and will also see Land Information New Zealand; the New Zealand Transport Agency; the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment; the Ministry of Transport; and New Zealand Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI) work with Geoscience Australia, which has been charged with overseeing the project on behalf of the Australian government.

Lockheed Martin US, alongside Inmarsat and GMV, will be partaking in trials of the SBAS technology. The global giants will be testing two new satellite positioning technologies — “next generation” SBAS and Precise Point Positioning — which Geoscience Australia said provides positioning accuracy of several decimetres and five centimetres, respectively. The SBAS test bed will also utilise existing national GNSS infrastructure developed by AuScope as part of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.


A consortium of European universities, institutes and companies thinks it can do better by integrating the world’s four main GNSS constellations. It’s called TREASURE, squeezing all these words into the acronym: Training, REsearch and Applications network to Support the Ultimate Real time high accuracy EGNSS solution. The TREASURE team plans to integrate signals from the GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and Galileo. This multi-GNSS would provide accuracy within just a few centimeters in real time.

“Although accuracy is at the core of our vision, the improvement we are aiming for is not only to do with accuracy— we are also especially concerned with robustness,” according to project lead Marcio Aquino, from the Nottingham Geospatial Institute. “The big challenge today is to enable centimeter-level accuracy anywhere, anytime in the world.” It won’t be easy. For example, GPS uses a different transmission system than Russia’s GLONASS. Signals from Galileo are similar to GPS but with slightly different carrier frequencies, according to Aquino. Not to mention that the various constellations use different time and geodetic reference systems. One of the goals of the TREASURE project is to reduce atmospheric disturbances to the signals beamed from satellites back to Earth.

India to expedite ‘Space Centric’ warfare command using GLONASS

Amid buzzword of ‘Cold Doctrine’ and delay in obtaining dedicated frequency band for military satellite, India has stepped up effort to provide sufficient number of satellites to Indian military with the help of Russia. Indian scientists have expressed satisfaction over progress in recent agreement signed between India and Russia which allowed Russia to deploy its GLONASS system ground stations in India.

“GLONASS will be of help to India because it will be integrated into military equipment that comes from Russia and apart from that it will also serve civilian purpose as it is compatible with Indian satellite system NavIC. Because it is compatible with NavIC it will have increased area coverage and accuracy,” says Group Captain Ajey Lele, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.

Pentagon’s DARPA tests underwater drone positioning system

New “GPS-like” technology for undersea drone communications is being developed by BAE Systems and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The new program will be put in place to conduct surveillance during combat missions, find enemy submarines and identify mines. The Positioning System for Deep Ocean Navigation (POSYDON) system is a joint developmental effort between DARPA and industry and will coordinate GPS signals, underwater acoustic signals and a surface buoy to transmit location coordinates from undersea drones to onboard command and control systems rapidly

Emergency 112 calls in Europe saving lives with GNSS

On Feb. 11, the European Union (EU) celebrated 112 Day in honor of the single European emergency phone number. The 112 system uses Advanced Mobile Location (AML) to receive location information from mobile phones.

Every year, about 300,000 people who call the emergency services cannot describe their location because they may not know where they are, because they are too young to say or they are too injured to communicate. In these situations, knowing the exact location of the caller can help emergency services react quickly and save lives, according to the European Commission. An EU-financed project — HELP 112 — looked into how GNSS can improve caller location using the AML solution. It was tested in the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Italy and parts of Austria.

Israel Aerospace unveils anti-jamming system

Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) has unveiled ADA – an advanced system that protects avionic systems from GPS jamming. ADA was developed by IAI’s MALAM Division, a national center of excellence for Anti-Jamming protection of GNSS receivers. Under the terms of the project with the Israeli Air Force, IAI will deliver a turnkey solution based on its multi-channel Controlled Reception Pattern Antenna (CRPA) technology. The ADA integration will ensure the operational continuity of the aircraft fleet, allowing avionic systems which rely on satellite navigation systems to continue uninterrupted operation even under direct electronic attack, when the enemy uses GPS jammers or other methods of interference.

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