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China launched a new satellite for the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The satellite was launched on a Long March-3C carrier rocket, and is also the fourth BDS-2 backup satellite and 45th satellite of the BDS satellite family. www.satellitetoday.com
$4.6 million to be invested in Russkaya Station in Antarctica
The research station Russkaya, in western Antarctica, on the coast of Marie Byrd Land, mothballed in 1990, will be recommissioned in 2021, for which purpose the Russian Antarctic Expedition will be granted about 300 million rubles ($4.6 million) of budget money, the deputy director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute under the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Klepikov, told TASS. The station was set up in the 1970s. Starting from 1980 it operated as a seasonal field base. Budget constraints forced its suspension in 1990. For a long time the Russian Antarctic Expedition pressed for its reactivation. A group of researchers visited it in 2008 to install distance monitoring equipment. http://tass.com/economy/1059721
The European Space Agency’s new NAVISP research and development program is prioritizing research into countering jamming and spoofing of satnav signals, with partner companies exploring varied approaches.
ESA’s Navigation Innovation and Support Programme (NAVISP) works with European industry to develop innovative navigation technology, with combating jamming and spoofing given high priority, especially as satnav is set to form the basis of new, safety-critical systems such as driverless cars. NAVISP is ESA’s program to facilitate the generation of innovative space-based PNT solutions with Member States and their industry. It is designed to provide a valuable support to European industry in the highly competitive and rapidly-evolving global market for PNT, while further supporting Member States in enhancing their national objectives and capabilities in the sector.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated positioning, navigation, and timing services (PNT) a “National Critical Function.” That is PNT is now officially a capability so vital to the United States that its “disruption, corruption, or dysfunction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety.”
The decision reflects a new approach by the agency aimed at improving its understanding of the 55 functions on the new national critical list, DHS said in an explanation. Rather than focusing on a static sector or on assets, “this more holistic approach is better at capturing cross-cutting risks and associated dependencies that may have cascading impact within and across sectors.” This could be a boon for the PNT community. Years ago DHS recognized PNT as a cross dependency among 13 of the 16 critical sectors of the nation’s infrastructure-such as the financial and telecommunications networks. Even so the agency did not appear to give PNT the coordinated analysis and scrutiny given early on to the sectors.
Russia plans to launch 46 satellites for its Global Navigation Satellite System GLONASS by 2034. Roscosmos’ materials showed that the space agency planned to launch four Glonass-M satellites, nine Glonass-K satellites and 33 Glonass-K2 vehicles in 2019-2033. Particularly, the launches are planned for 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026, 2029, 2030, 2032 and 2033.
The GLONASS constellation currently comprises a total of 26 satellites, including 24 Glonass-M and two Glonass-K vehicles.
The Canadian government has selected MDA to design, build and deliver 10 search-an- rescue repeaters for its Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue system to be hosted on the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation GPS satellites.
The Canadian government decided in 2015 to proceed with the MEOSAR project to provide search and rescue repeaters for the USAF’s next generation GPS satellites. Once in orbit 22,000 kilometers above the Earth, a MEOSAR repeater will be able to detect signals from emergency beacons and retransmit the signals to receiver stations on the ground. The emergency messages can then be sent to appropriate authorities so that people in danger can be quickly located and rescued. Mike Greenley, MDA’s group president, said once qualified as operational, the system will dramatically improve both the speed and location accuracy for detecting beacons, and as a result, greatly enhance the coordination and dispatch of search and rescue teams to help people in distress.”
MEOSAR will provide a more capable system to COSPAS-SARSAT (Cosmicheskaya Sistyema Poiska Avariynich Sudov – Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking), according to Canadian military officers. COSPASSARSAT is an international satellite-based search and rescue distress alert detection system established by Canada, France, the former Soviet Union, and the U.S. in 1979. It is credited with saving more than 33,000 lives since its inception.
The first GPS 3F satellite is expected to be available for launch in 2026 and will host the first Canadian-made MEOSAR repeaters, Department of National Defence spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande toldSpaceNews. The first repeaters are expected to be fully functional by early 2027, she added. https://spacenews.com
CGI, Thales Alenia Space Sign Contract for Galileo Security Software
CGI signed an agreement with Thales Alenia Space to enhance and maintain security software for the Galileo satellite navigation system. Valued at approximately 14 million euros ($15.71 million), the contract will last until the end of 2020. CGI experts are working on this strategic project from Rotterdam and Toulouse. CGI aims to improve the functionality and reliability of Galileo’s ground infrastructure, as well as enhance and maintain software for its Public Regulated Service Key Management Facility (PKMF).
According to the release, the Public Regulated Service (PRS) is one of the key features that distinguishes Galileo from other satellite navigation systems. It ensures that only government-authorized entities have access to Galileo’s secure PRS signal that meets strict security standards in areas such as defense, law enforcement, customs, etc. www.satellitetoday.com
Five more satellites will be added to Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System GLONASS in 2019, according to the Strategy of GLONASS Development until 2030. There are currently 26 satellites in the GLONASS group. http://tass.com
Raytheon Co.’s GPS Next-Generation Operational Control System program finished final qualification testing of the system’s modernized monitor station receivers. The receivers are slated to be installed globally beginning in August.
GPS OCX is the enhanced ground control segment of a U.S. Air Force-led effort to refresh America’s GPS system. The revamped receivers will measure and monitor legacy military and civilian signals sent by the current GPS satellite constellation as well as the new signals sent by the next-generation GPS III. The receivers will also feed correction models at the master control station.
GTX Corp has announced that it has been awarded a new contract for an initial installation of its versatile and scalable military-grade tagging, tracking & locating (TTL) GPS platform at Hill Air Force Base in Utah (Hill). The Platform was developed for large-scale installations such as military bases. Hill is the second U.S. military base that plans to deploy the Personnel, Equipment Tracking System (P.E.T.S.), a lightweight, mobile, non-cellular, GPS technology platform designed to track personnel and equipment over a large remote area. The initial order is expected to be shipped and scheduled for phase I testing in June. www.gtxcorp.com
Kolmostar announces Ultra Low Power GNSS Module JEDI-200
Kolmostar has launched their latest ultra low power GNSS module JEDI- 200, which refreshes the industry lowest power consumption record by reducing the energy for one position fix by up to 150x compared to traditional GNSS sensors, providing the ultimate positioning solution for location-based Internet-of- Things applications. www.kolmostar.com
Positioning antenna raises accuracy bar in GNSS bands
Antenova Ltd. is now shipping Raptor, the company’s latest positioning antenna. It achieves an extraordinary level of accuracy in the GNSS bands by pinpointing location to within centimeters. The component targets emerging applications in autonomous vehicles, drones, and other mobile devices where its enhanced positioning capability can, for example, indicate which side of the road a vehicle is on. Allegedly, this ability has not generally been possible with previous GNSS devices. Other applications include tracking, surveying, and mapping.
The Australian government has announced the project aimed at developing the Australian Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) and is looking for partners. The initiative is projected to last for four years and was allocated the funding of $160.9 million from the federal budget. The goal of the undertaking is to enhance the positioning of the GNSS, which should have a prominent positive effect on various industries.
Aviation will benefit from the L1 service – a safety critical system which will be approved by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). L1 will be supplemented with the Dual- Frequency Multi-Constellation (DFMC) service with its sub-metre accuracy to ensure a full continuity of service. Other business sectors, such as agriculture and mining, will be able to make use of the capability of the Precise Point Positioning (PPP) service where the decimetre accuracy will become available
Tallysman Wireless Inc. in Ottawa is introducing three lightweight helical GNSS and Iridium antennas for UAV applications.
The three Tallysman helical antennas are the HC871 (25g) — a housed, dual band, active GNSS antenna, supporting GPS L1/L2, GLONASS G1/G2, Galileo E1, and BeiDou B1; the HC872 (36g) — a housed, dual band, active GNSS antenna, supporting GPS L1/ L2, GLONASS G1/G2, Galileo E1, BeiDou B1, and L-Band services; and the HC600 (18g) – A housed, passive Iridium antenna. www.tallysman.com