December 30, 2016

On December 23, 2016, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017, a $619-billion bill with a number of provisions affecting satellite navigation. ( more) <> 
Air Force Continues to Test GPS III Satellite
The U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) says it continues to work on GPS III ceramic capacitor testing and plans to have an updated launch schedule published late next month.  ( more)
Satellite navigation signals from space are precariously weak and can easily be blocked, damaged, or compromised by a growing array of threats - including solar activity, man-made interference, malicious faking of GPS signals, and the manipulation of position and timing information. As we come to rely more and more on GNSS signals and data across a wide range of industries, understanding and mitigating against these threats will become a critical risk management activity for manufacturers, systems and applications providers, and end-users.. 
As media mogul/villain Elliot Carter tells James Bond in "Tomorrow Never Dies," a 1997 movies starring Pierce Brosnan, "There's no news, like bad news." And so it was for Inside GNSS's reportage this year. The top five most-read news articles in 2016 featured the Global Positioning System encountering one problem or threat after another. To wit:
(January 29) Less than a month after Europe switched off most of its Loran transmitters, a problem with GPS satellite timing signal triggered alarms across the continent and caused an unknown number of outages, including the disruption of some features of critical infrastructure. ( more)
(May 17) The Senate Armed Services Committee zeroed out the Pentagon's $393 funding request for the new GPS ground control system during its May 11 markup, asserting that the program's cost overruns - with a total cost that may reach $5.3 billion, up from an original $1.5 billion - had breached the Nunn-McCurdy Act. ( more)
Visit the KVH Unmanned & Autonomous Webinar Series Library for helpful insights on sensor fusion from engineers at Greensea Systems, Geodetics and KVH. Discussions include challenges to achieving successful sensor fusion for subsea and aerial applications, and how sensor fusion architectures can be designed to overcome some of these challenges. These IEEE-moderated webinars are free. Visit today. 
(January 27) A couple of GPS anomalies struck yesterday, one systemic and the other delaying launch of the final Block IIF satellite. ( more)
(January 15) Having settled its lawsuits against a trio of GPS receiver manufacturers, would-be broadband provider New LightSquared is now pointing to those settlements to support its assertion that it is fully addressing GPS interference issues. ( more)
With a stopgap fix under contract and a bump-up in next year's budget request on the table the Air Force appears intent on sticking with its plan to continue work on a new GPS ground system despite dismay over repeated delays. ( more)
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