Block IIF: Follow-on, or Failure?

May 27, 2009 - By

A few short weeks ago, the U.S. GPS program had its posterior firmly planted in the catbird seat. Government spokespeople in international fora looked on benignly as European, Chinese, and Russian GNSS programs struggled to resolve their issues and meet their heady challenges. All was well with the world. A new GPS satellite launched, a segment of radio-frequency spectrum secured for a promising new signal, a next-gen satellite shipped to the Cape, and the next-next-gen program nearing successful preliminary design review (since completed). In the blink of an eye, the world is turning. read more

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Parkinson Prescribes Remedy for GAO Report Alarm

May 26, 2009 - By

Brad Parkinson, the first GPS Program Office director, chief architect and advocate for GPS, submitted written testimony to Congress on mitigation options for possible GPS brownouts. His presentation comes in reference to the recent GAO report highlighting the risk that the GPS constellation may fall below the minimum level of 24 satellites required for full operational capability. In his opening, Parkinson states that GAO correctly points out the possibility that the GPS constellation will be reduced to less than the current number of 30 to 32 satellites. In fact, it is possible that the constellation will be at a level of less than 24 satellites. I would like to focus on the options that would help reduce this risk." read more

GPS at Risk: Doomsday 2010

May 12, 2009 - By

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued on May 7 an alarming report on the future of GPS, characterizing ongoing modernization efforts as shaky. The agency appears to single out the IIF program as the weak link between current stability and ensured future capability, calling into doubt whether the Air Force will be able to acquire new satellites in time to maintain current GPS service without interruption. It asserts the very real possibility that in 2010, as old satellites begin to fail, the overall GPS constellation will fall below the number of satellites required to provide the level of GPS service that the U.S. government commits to." read more

Loran Study Finally Unleashed: Says Keep It, Best Option

May 12, 2009 - By

Withheld from the public for two years, since its completion in March 2007, the Independent Assessment Team (IAT) report has been let out of detention, just in time to counter recent efforts by the Obama administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Coast Guard to throttle the program. The IAT “unanimously recommends that the U.S. government complete the eLoran upgrade and commit to eLoran as the national backup to GPS for 20 years. The IAT’s conclusion has long been informally known throughout the GPS industry, but the report’s release adds considerable weight, expertise, and specifics to a long, determined campaign to preserve the program. read more

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Survey Perspectives: RTK Networks Webinar Q&A Follow-Up

May 6, 2009 - By

Many surveyors I know use RTK for setting boundaries. Some even use single-baseline RTK for this task, which is essentially just a radial survey (no redundancy). I?d say that almost all whom I know that are doing this have used their RTK systems enough to understand the limitations. In fact, I think most have run RTK and total stations side-by-side on jobs to gain confidence and understand RTK in the field. read more

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New GPS Satellite’s Problems Indicated

May 4, 2009 - By

The U.S. Air Force spoke briefly for the first time in public regarding signal anomalies from the IIR(M)-20 satellite launched in March. read more

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