About Don Jewell

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Don Jewell served 30 years in the United States Air Force, as an aviator and a space subject-matter expert. Don’s involvement with GPS and other critical space systems began with their inception, either as a test system evaluator or user. He served two command assignments at Schriever AFB, the home of GPS, and retired as Deputy Chief Scientist for Air Force Space Command. Don also served as a Politico Military Affairs Officer during the Reagan administration, working with 32 foreign embassies and serving as a Foreign Disclosure Officer making critical export control decisions concerning sophisticated military hardware and software.

After retiring from the USAF, Don served seven years as the senior space marketer and subject-matter expert for two of the largest government contractors dealing in space software and hardware.

Don currently serves on two independent GPS review teams he helped found, and on three independent assessment teams at the Institute for Defense Analyses, dealing with critical issues for the U.S. government. Don has served on numerous Air Force and Defense Scientific Advisory Boards. He writes and speaks extensively on technical issues concerning the U.S. government. Don earned his Bachelor’s degree and MBA; the Ph.D. is in progress.

Posts by Don Jewell

PNTAB and eLoran in the People’s Republic Posted on 11 Nov 2015 in the Defense & Opinions categories.

That is, in the People’s Republic of Boulder, Colorado. To those of us who live in Colorado, Boulder is known by this seemingly timeless but absolutely accurate appellation. This stunningly... Read more»

Lost Over the Pacific Posted on 09 Sep 2015 in the Defense & Opinions categories.

There I was, well above Angels 40, sound asleep wearing a positive pressure oxygen mask and helmet with the droning of multiple jet engines in the background for company. Then, I was abruptly awoken by an aircrew member urgently calling my name. On waking I noticed that it was colder and darker than I remembered when I had nodded off. The only light was that strange ambient light you only experience at high altitudes, and there was zero radio chatter in my helmet headset. Read more»

L2C and Next-Generation Smart PNT Receivers Posted on 12 Aug 2015 in the Defense & Opinions categories.

Are you using a legacy-model PNT (position, navigation and timing) receiver or a smart PNT receiver, and why does it matter? Don’t have a clue? Read on! Hint — L2C and... Read more»

ION-JNC and the Nascent Paradigm Posted on 08 Jul 2015 in the Defense & Opinions categories.

In June, I participated in the Institute of Navigation’s Joint Navigation Conference. This year attendance was up by 20 percent. The entire event was FOUO (For Official Use Only) with a classified day, which included a remarkable War Fighter Panel that I co-chaired with my colleague Jim Doherty at Institute For Defense Analyses. It is always heart-warming and invariably enlightening to hear our warfighters discuss capabilities that GPS enables for them in times of peace and war. You could even say this was the theme of the conference: “The capabilities that GPS technology enables.” PLUS: The future of SpaceX. Read more»

The Internet of Everything: It’s All in the Timing Posted on 10 Jun 2015 in the Defense & Opinions categories.

40th Annual NIST Time and Frequency Metrology Seminar
The NIST T&F Metrology Seminar is one of a kind — easily the best in the world for time and frequency metrology. There are so many exciting discoveries concerning time and how time applies to our everyday lives, especially to GPS — all PNT systems actually. Consider that the NIST Time and Frequency distribution system delivers NIST Internet time over the Internet at the rate of 8 billion requests per day from servers at 25 locations across the United States. And that's just the beginning of this tale as old as time. Read more»

Tim Tebow, GPS, Space Acquisition, 60 Minutes and the GAO Posted on 13 May 2015 in the Defense & Opinions categories.

The U.S. government acquisition cadre seems to have a problem when it comes to recognizing the critical importance of small businesses. Sometimes the government fails to realize the true potential and the true domain expertise provided by small expert companies. Problems typically come about because both the government and the prime contractors lose sight of why the small, domain expert company is on the team in the first place. And yes, a lesson can be learned from Tim Tebow. Read more»

GPS III Update: First Satellite Ready for Testing Posted on 14 Apr 2015 in the Defense & GNSS & Latest News & Opinions categories.

Report from the 31st Space Symposium COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — I had the pleasure of having an early breakfast on this beautiful Colorado morning with Mark Stewart, VP and program manager... Read more»

What to Do, Who to See at the 31st Space Symposium Posted on 08 Apr 2015 in the Defense & Featured Stories & Opinions categories.

Every year before I attend the Space Symposium, I make a list of topics to explore and people to talk to, both as a journalist and in my senior space analyst profession. I thought I would share my topics and names with you, because you may have some of the same interests — including GPS III, OCX and up-and-coming executives and officers. Read more»