Mar 2018 | No Comment

China adds two more satellites to home-grown navigation network

Two more Chinese Beidou navigation satellites successfully lifted off aboard a Long March 3B rocket on China’s seventh space launch in five weeks.

The Long March 3B rocket and a restartable Yuanzheng upper stage deployed the two Beidou navigation satellites – the 28th and 29th to join China’s navigation network.

A third stage engine placed the two Beidou satellites and the Yuanzheng upper stage into a preliminary elliptical orbit. The upper stage engine was programmed to place the twin payloads into a circular orbit approximately 13,700 miles (22,000 kilometers) above Earth.

Chinese state media confirmed the launch was a success, and U.S. military tracking data showed the Beidou satellites were orbiting on their planned trajectory inclined 55 degrees to the equator.

ESA, Airbus sign contract for EGNOS V3 Upgrades

Airbus has been selected as the main contractor to develop EGNOS V3, the next generation of Europe’s Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS). The company was awarded the contract by the European Space Agency (ESA), which manages EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) development under a working arrangement signed with the European GNSS Agency (GSA).

For the next generation of the EGNOS augmentation system, the GSA requested the complete overhaul of the outdated EGNOS ground segment. This modernization program will see the deployment of EGNOS V3 in ground stations at more than 50 sites in Europe, and surrounding countries.

The GSA also requested the development of new EGNOS capabilities to support the augmentation of a second GPS signal (L5) and of the Galileo signals E1-E5. Another requirement is that the system be made more robust, to deal with the increase in user numbers and to reflect their increasing dependence on EGNOS and its ground applications – in some countries (e.g. France) instrument landing systems (ILS) are being decommissioned on several airports because the civil aviation authorities have decided instead to rely on EGNOS.

EGNOS V3 is planned to provide the aviation community with advanced Safety of Life (SoL) services as well as new services to maritime and land users. It will provide augmented operational SoL services over Europe that improve the accuracy and availability of user positioning services from existing Global Navigation Satellite Systems (Galileo and GPS) and provides crucial integrity messages to EGNOS users with alerts within a few seconds in case of system degradation, consolidating EGNOS’ position as one of the leading edge GNSS Systems in the future.

Russia hopes to increase ERAGLONASS system in cars threefold

Vice-Premier of Russia Dmitry Rogozin said that a three times increase in the connection of cars to the ERA-GLONASS system is expected. “Currently, more than 1,500,000 cars are already traveling around the country, connected to this system. By the end of the year, we expect up to 3 500 000 – 4 000 000,” said the Chairman of the Board of Directors of JSC Glonass.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of JSC “Glonass” said that the technology developed in Russia is interested abroad. “In the countries of Europe and not only apply for advice to us. Europeans are still only preparing to launch their analogue of our “ERA-GLONASS” – eCall “, – said Dmitry Rogozin.

Earlier it became known that the terminals of the ERA-GLONASS system will receive an additional button. Commercial services are promised to be connected in 2018. With the help of the new functionality, drivers can call an “emergency commissioner” through the call center, provide technical assistance or order fuel delivery. Buy updated versions of devices can be in any mobile phone.

Air Force to acquire new jamresistant GPS satellites

The Pentagon plans to spend $2 billion over the next five years on a new constellation of GPS satellites that will be hardened to withstand electronic interference from hostile nations.

In a solicitation for bids posted Feb. 13, the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center announced it will “conduct a full and open competition” for the production of 22 GPS 3 satellites starting in fiscal year 2019. The Air Force already has ordered 10 GPS 3 satellites from Lockheed Martin Corp. The new program that is now getting underway is to acquire an improved version of the satellite

DOD looking for the next GPS

The Defense Department is in the market for a GPS alternative. For the past three decades, starting with Operation Desert Storm, the U.S. military has relied on GPS extensively as its primary mode of what it calls “positioning, navigation and timing” (PNT) — the ability to locate something and its movement at a given time. But the satellite-based GPS system has become “contested” and “vulnerable” and can no longer be relied on as the primary source of PNT for the Pentagon, Brig. Gen. Kevin Kennedy said.

The Pentagon recently issued a solicitation for PNT support in the office of the DOD CIO for “a broad range of programmatic, research and system engineering support, technical analyses, assessments and policy formulation support with respect to the research, development, acquisition, procurement, deployment/fielding, and operation of all DoD GPS, PNT and [navigation warfare] systems including national security, civil, commercial, and international cooperative aspects of the DoD PNT Enterprise.”

Britain reviewing risks to its satellite-reliant infrastructure

Britain is reviewing its reliance on satellite-based technology for critical infrastructure including the GPS as the threat of jamming attacks and disruptions grows, a government report said.

Emergency services, transport, communications and financial networks are among key sectors which depend on GNSS such as GPS. Such technology needs accurate and reliable position and timing signals. Experts say the problem with GNSS is their weak signals, which are transmitted from 12,500 miles (20,100 km) above the Earth and can be disrupted with cheap jamming devices that are widely available. They are also vulnerable to signal loss from weather effects as well as radio and satellite interference. A previous study commissioned by the British government and published last April estimated that five days of GNSS disruption would cost the UK economy 5.2 billion pounds ($7.35 billion).

GNSS earthquake earlywarning tested in Chile

Researchers testing a satellite-based earthquake early warning system developed for the U.S. West Coast found that the system performed well in a “replay” of three large earthquakes that occurred in Chile between 2010 and 2015, reports the Seismological Society of America.

The results, reported in the journal Seismological Research Letters (SRL), suggest that such a system could provide early warnings of ground shaking and tsunamis for Chile’s coastal communities in the future.

The early warning module, called G-FAST, uses ground motion data measured by GNSS to estimate the magnitude and epicenter for large earthquakes – those magnitude 8 and greater. These great quakes often take place at subducting tectonic plate boundaries, where one plate thrusts beneath another plate, as is the case off the coast of Chile and the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

Using data collected by Chile’s more than 150 GNSS stations, Brendan Crowell of the University of Washington and his colleagues tested G-FAST’s performance against three large megathrust earthquakes in the country: the 2010 magnitude 8.8 Maule, the 2014 magnitude 8.2 Iquique, and the 2015 magnitude 8.3 Illapel earthquakes.

NASA will test a key deep space navigation tool this year

The Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC) is finally ready for testing, and NASA’s JPL has begun preparing it for launch this year after working on it for two decades. Current space vehicles and observatories already use atomic clocks for navigation — they are, after all, some of the most accurate timekeeping devices ever. However, the way they work isn’t ideal for use in vessels going beyond Low-Earth Orbit.

See, the atomic clocks space agencies and companies use today need to be paired with ground-based antennas. The antenna sends signals to a spacecraft, and the vessel sends them back to Earth. Current clocks use the difference in time between sending and receiving a signal to calculate a space vehicle’s location, path and velocity. It then relays commands to the spacecraft based on those calculations. While signals travel at the speed of light, that process can still take hours — the farther the spacecraft is, the longer it has to wait for a signal. Deep Space Atomic Clock solves that issue by being onboard the spacecraft itself, which means it doesn’t need to rely on two-way tracking.

It can use the signal sent from Earth to calculate for its host’s position and velocity without having to toss that signal back. That means vehicles can move and change course more quickly than current ones can, and they can focus on completing mission objectives rather than spend time readjusting antennas. In addition, DSAC will allow ground-based antennas to keep track of multiple satellites in one area — say the Martian orbit — since they don’t need to wait for vehicles to respond.

DSAC will launch this year attached to General Atomic’s Orbital Test Bed spacecraft, which will blast off aboard the US Air Force Space Technology Program mission.

Beidou’s quick positioning platform serves over 200 countries, regions

The quick positioning platform of China’s Beidou navigation and positioning system is serving more than 200 countries and regions around the globe, China North Industries Group Corporation Limited (NORINCO) announced Thursday.

The location service platform of Qianxun Spatial Intelligence Inc, a company using Beidou services that was cofounded by NORINCO and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has more than 90 million customers, the corporation said at its yearly work meeting.

Qianxun’s centimeter-level service is expected to cover the whole of the Chinese mainland in 2018, when the high-accuracy positioning of Beidou will become a public service shared by all walks of life.

NORINCO has also won the bidding for the construction project of a base station network for foreign navigation satellites, marking the first step in its bid to push applied Beidou system overseas. www.

Tekhnoserv to support network monitoring system of Era-Glonass

Russian integrator Tekhnoserv has concluded an annual contract to support of the network monitoring system of Glonass, reports Tekhnoserv will support the activity of monitoring and analysis system Spyder from Russian company SevenTest. The system is being used for the monitoring of the the Era-Glonass emergency network. The contract will run until the end of this year.

$110K in startup contest for GNSSdenied navigation technologies

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Israel’s Ministry of Defense are joining forces for the third time in setting up a startup competition to tap into new technologies to beat terrorism. More than $200,000 in prizes will be awarded to the most promising startups.

The challenge is is divided into two tracks.

The Urban Navigation Technologies Challenge focuses on navigating without GPS – an increasingly important issue for special forces, law enforcement and other anti-terrorism professionals who need to operate indoors or in environments where GPS is not available.

The General Technologies Challenge includes surveillance, social media analytics, image and video, cybersecurity, drones, robotics, personal protection, biometrics, reconnaissance, and detection of explosives or water contamination. The most promising startups will be invited to present at the Combating Terrorism Technology Conference in Tel Aviv University on June 17.

ISRO to launch another IRNSS satellite in April

Tthe Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up to launch another IRNSS satellite in April.

“The next launch will be in March end or April, but NavIC is already in full scale as four satellites are sufficient for navigation and we already have six. Adding more satellites, however, will guarantee better accuracy,” according to ISRO chairman K. Sivan. Dr. Sivan said preparations were in full swing to ensure the success of the launch. He said the launch of Chandrayan-II would also take place in April subject to satisfactory integrated tests of the rover, lander and orbiter.

“The plan is to land on the moon’s south pole during the day and one moon day is 14 earth days.

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