GPS problems pose security concerns
The most recent upgrade to the GPS ground control segment created an incompatibility issue with a specific type of military GPS receiver used on at least 86 different US weapon systems, some of which cannot be used until the problem is fixed, according to the US Air Force. In current circumstances, approximately 8,000 to 10,000 Selective Availability Anti-SpoofingModule (SAASM) GPS receivers deployed in a variety of weapon systems are having trouble authenticating a new messaging format implemented as part of an upgrade to the GPS Operational Control Segment. The prime contractor for the GPS ground system is Boeing Defense, Space & Security of St. Louis. The only other affected weapon system is the US Navy’s X-47B, an unmanned combat aerial vehicle demonstrator built by Northrop Grumman.
GPS IIF satellite launched
The US Air Force finally launched the first GPS Block IIF satellite recently. GPS IIF is the first of a new generation of GPS satellites going into orbit. This will be the first GPS mission to launch on a Delta 4, after 49 missions launched atop the smaller Delta 2 between 1989 and 2009.
Compass M1 Signals problematic.
Researchers at Septentrio reported anomalies in the signal from the Compass M1 satellite. Analysis of high rate Doppler data from the E2 and E5b carriers revealed frequent spikes in the frequency of these carriers. These spikes were present in both the E2 and E5b bands (E6 had not been monitored in this analysis), and in both carrier and spreading code waveforms. They clearly indicate a problem onboard the satellite, possibly due to malfunction of the frequency reference of the signal generation unit. The glitches occur about 2 to 3 times per minute at seemingly random intervals. Depending on the design of the receiver tracking loops, they can lead to losses of lock or cycle slips. Septentrio doesn’t know when this problem started. Processing of previously collected data has shown that shortly after the launch the frequency was quite stable.
NOAA updates its GPS system
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is modernizing its GPS to utilize advances in technology. Scientists at NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey said the effort is important for activities requiring accurate positioning information. It said the proposed changes will affect civilian-federal mapping authorities, as well as state and municipal governments that have adopted the National Spatial Reference System.
Ukraine, Russia planning to sign deal on development of GLONASS
The governments of Ukraine and Russia are completing preparations for signing an agreement on cooperation in the use and development of the GLONASS satellite navigation system. Ukraine’s demand for receivers for the GLONASS satellite system was estimated at 100,000 units per year.
GPS helps check kerosene black marketing
In the first of its kind initiative in Pune, India the state government has started tracking kerosene oil tankers with the help of GPS to keep a check on black marketing. The system has been installed in the kerosene tankers that get oil from depots of oil companies. The movement of tankers is tracked from the depots to the dealer depots on specified government routes.
Indian Lion census ends
More than 1,600 forest officers participated in the four-day long census of Asiatic lions at Gir, Gujarat. For the first time, GPS and GIS were used and headcount was done instead of tracking pugmarks, as was the case earlier.