Compass ICD in October; Harmonizing GNSS

September 29, 2011 - By

China's GNSS, Compass or Beidou, intends to publish its signal interface control document (ICD) in October. Representatives of the system made an unprecedented showing at ION GNSS in Portland, and referred frankly to "internal deliberations" that may be at the root of much of the public uncertainty about the system's planned structure and timeline. Meanwhile, representatives of other navigation satellite systems also delivered updates on their status and plans. Everyone is concerned about LightSquared interference, but everyone continues to move forward. This month's column is a two-parter: a guest appearance by Len Jacobson, editorial advisory board member for GPS World magazine and president of Global Systems and Marketing Inc. Len writes on the "Harmonizing GNSS" aspect, the briefings by all systems and their efforts to achieve compatibility and interoperability. Then I'll return with an account of the Compass panel that formed part of the CGSIC meeting immediately preceeding ION. read more

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Spectracom Debuts New GNSS Simulator Capabilities at ION-GNSS

September 21, 2011 - By

PORTLAND, Oregon — Spectracom announced at the ION-GNSS conference the introduction of new capabilities for its GSG line of GPS GNSS constellation simulators. These features reinforce Spectracom’s offerings for flexible, user-friendly, and affordable characterization and test of GPS and GNSS devices and systems. read more

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Countdown to Galileo Launch via Soyuz Rocket Under Way

September 20, 2011 - By

The first Soyuz flight from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana will carry the first two satellites of Europe’s Galileo navigation system into orbit on October 20, and the European Space Agency is reporting on the preparations. On September 12, final assembly began on the three-stage Soyuz ST-B, consisting of four first-stage boosters clustered around the core second stage, topped off by the third stage. The Launcher Flight Readiness Review in July gave the green light to begin assembling the rocket. read more

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In-Car Connectivity, Not a Smartphone on Wheels

September 20, 2011 - By

The 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show is underway. The Ford Evos concept car is having its debut and overtakes the company’s Sync offering, with a high level of social networking and connectivity features. A departure from the Sync approach of vehicles as smartphones on wheels, this plug-in hybrid is designed to always be connected to the cloud. Some of the distractibility found in the Sync has been diminished. The driver’s “personal cloud” makes automatic adjustments to music, temperature, traffic checks, and navigation that reflect learned personal choices of the driver and her schedule. Hooking a car up to the cloud comes with significant risks. Moving from stand-alone isolated in-vehicle systems to the connected network world carries the threat of being hacked and exposed to viruses. iSec researchers demonstrated unlocking and starting a car by sending text messages to its alarm system. The problem, however, is much broader than having a car stolen. read more

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LightSquared’s Toughest Week So Far

September 16, 2011 - By

Like a bad week on the stock exchange, LightSquared hit speed bump after speed bump this week. After Monday when the company boldly claimed there would "be a resolution within a month" to the GPS interference problem, the FCC spanked them Tuesday by ordering more testing. The rest of the week turned even more sour. read more

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North Korea Jamming Incident; LightSquared Issue

September 14, 2011 - By

My mailbox is currently overflowing with comments and questions concerning rampant rumors that in the March 2011 time frame a U.S. military reconnaissance aircraft was forced to land during an annual major east Asian military exercise, known as Key Resolve, due to GPS jamming. The jamming reportedly took place along the northern portion of the 684-mile long Korean peninsula, with the jamming supposedly originating with the North Koreans. The jamming scenario should come as no surprise, but it is the emergency or forced landing due to loss of a GPS signal among other supposed “facts” with which I take issue. read more

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Is Google’s Acquisition of Motorola Mobility an Attempt to Control Location Biz?

September 13, 2011 - By

Google is at it again. This time Motorola Mobility is on the buying block. What does this mean to the location-based services market? Another potential location platform market closed off? Some industry experts believe this is the case. In addition, Iridium and TeleNav are making LBS news with recent product launches and acquisitions. read more