Defense PNT Newsletter

2C or not 2C: An Important Signal Question

January 9, 2013By

With apologies to the Bard of Avon, as I paraphrase his prose, 2C or not 2C — that is the question for millions of GPS users and has been for several years. Indeed, over the past seven years hardly a week has gone by without an email or inquiry about the status of the GPS L2C signal. The name “L2C”... read more

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PHGPST Resurrected: Seeking the Perfect Device

December 11, 2012By

By Don Jewell Cards and Letters It happens every year and it is an emotional rollercoaster.  It generally starts a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving and continues until just after New Years – and it is simply heartbreaking. The letters and emails start arriving just like clockwork before the holidays and they all ask the same question – where can... read more

Conversation with Ray Kolibaba on the GPS Ground Control Segment

November 20, 2012By
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Ray Kolibaba, Raytheon VP and Program Manager for OCX, took part in a candid conversation with Don Jewell, our defense editor at GPS World. Kolibaba gives us an unprecedented look at the GPS ground control segment, warts and all, as it exists today. His updates about a viable program are good news because at one time the OCX program was... read more

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ION, LightSquared, and GPS IIF-3

October 10, 2012By
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By Don Jewell It had to happen sometime. I just thought or hoped it might take a few more years. But I guess I should not be surprised since I experienced a wonderful 30-year U.S. Air Force (USAF) career and that has been over for more than a decade. I have been working GPS issues since 1978. So I guess... read more

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A Conversation with General William Shelton, Commander, Air Force Space Command

September 13, 2012By

It happened over 20 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday. Three young U.S. Air Force officers stood respectfully in the office of Lt Gen Thomas Moorman, then Vice Commander of Air Force Space Command. All three were summoned to the same meeting, but I expect none of us knew exactly why. It would soon become apparent... read more

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No Status Quo for GPS

August 15, 2012By

The huge white charger galloped into the clearing. The destrier slid to a stop, steam snorting from his nostrils, as he pranced to a huge oak tree where the four-star Templar Knight astride the magnificent equine posted an urgent message for all to see in status quo voluntas non sufficit. Checking his GPS, the knight charged off into the surrounding woods. Then I awoke, but remembered the quirky dream vividly. The Latin phrase, resurrected from torturous Latin courses more than 45 years ago, translates to, “The staus quo will no longer suffice,” a theme being pushed at Air Force Space Command and, indeed, throughout the space community and the entire DoD, for that matter. read more

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My First-Hand Experience with the Waldo Canyon Wildfire and GPS

July 10, 2012By
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Tuesday, the 26th of June, started off as a beautiful day in Colorado Springs, if you ignored the towering plume of smoke to the west from the Waldo Canyon Wildfire. The wildfire started three days before in the popular Waldo Canyon hiking area in the Rocky Mountains just off Highway 24. While people in the Colorado Springs area were concerned, there were currently eight other wildfires raging in the state of Colorado and over the past month arsonist(s) were suspected of starting up to 20+ wildfires. So many had become inured to the sight and smell of smoke. Only one serious wildfire was known to be currently out of control in Colorado at the time, so concerns in the Colorado Springs community could be described as moderate. Then at 1630, that’s 4:30 P.M. for my non-military readers, the wildfire displayed its true personality. read more

NIST and Metrology

June 11, 2012By

A few months ago at a speaking engagement, I took questions from the audience after my presentation. The audience was made up of GPS enthusiasts, GPS equipment vendors, and evidently GPS neophytes as well, because the last question was asked by a young lady, from a large well known government user segment, who was intrigued by but obviously knew little about the inner workings of GPS. Her question so stunned me and the audience that it brought the questions to an abrupt end. Thank goodness no one actually laughed out loud, and frankly I was so incredulous that I almost gave an impertinent answer that would not have served any purpose other than to embarrass the young lady and expose some insensitivity on my part. No, fortunately, after recovering from the initial shock due to the naiveté of the question, I answered her with a straight face, because it seemed to be an honest and sincere question. read more

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