Defense PNT Newsletter

Grüss Gott – Munich Satellite Summit

April 11, 2012By

There is a reason the Munich Satellite Summit is billed as a summit and not a symposium or conference. It’s a different atmosphere that invites group chats, informal get-togethers, and networking. One item of note that I came away with is that the Chinese are looking for help and partners for their PNT constellations, of which there appear to be three in the making. But asked point blank when they would finally release the full ICD specifications for receivers (a partial ICD has been released) the answer was the same as last year. They did not know when that might happen. It is hard to build receivers and support a specific program, much less three PNT constellations, when you don’t have the specifications. read more

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eLORAN and UrsaNav: Timing Is Everything

March 14, 2012By

The first part of the recent UrsaNav press release says it best: This week for the first time since August 2010 advanced low frequency (LF) signals, including a new eLORAN, are on the air in North America! As a result of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and UrsaNav, Inc. live testing... read more

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Rugged GPS-Enabled Windows Laptops

February 7, 2012By

I brushed the snow from my keyboard and in my mind I could hear the neighbors whispering, "Call the men in white coats, there he goes again." They may have cause for concern, as I am sitting on my deck during a lull in a major blizzard, typing on a laptop computer half buried in snow. My warfighter correspondence indicates that some war tasks call out for a rugged laptop rather than a rugged handheld device; thus, this cold warrior test of a device with embedded GPS capability. read more

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Where Am I?

January 12, 2012By

I have long advocated that our warfighters and first responders deserve the best equipment available so they can answer the basic question, "Where Am I?" quickly and with complete certainty. Or, "Where am I now and how do I get to someplace of relative safety quickly?" Unfortunately, government-furnished equipment (GFE), in this case the GPS handheld equipment we supply our warfighters, does not do a good or even adequate job of answering that question. read more

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Interview: 2nd Space Operations Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. Jennifer Grant

December 14, 2011By
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December is typically the month when writers of regularly featured columns wax nostalgic and engage in a certain amount of prognostication. This year I enlisted the help of Lt. Col. Jennifer Grant, the 2SOPS/CC at Schriever AFB, the home of GPS, to help us with our year-end review and crystal-ball gazing as we look ahead to the GPS horizon. Lt. Col. Grant reminisces about her first 16 months as 2SOPS/CC, reviews numerous major accomplishments, and updates us on the status of the GPS constellation as well as the often overlooked, ever contentious and always seemingly in flux critical Command and Control (C2) segment. read more

The Good, the Bad, and the Really Ugly

November 9, 2011By
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This month there is good news — great news, actually — where GPS and PNT (Position, Navigation and Timing) systems are concerned. On October 22, a Russian Soyuz rocket placed in orbit the first two validation satellites, built by EADS Astrium Germany, in the Galileo PNT constellation after making its maiden launch from Kourou. Don’t confuse these recent satellites with the earlier experimental satellites, GIOVE-A launched in 2005 followed by GIOVE-B launched in 2008. These initial satellites served to preserve the Galileo ITU frequency filings and test the first-ever space borne Hydrogen Maser atomic clock, which by all accounts is proving to be extremely accurate. read more

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Steve Jobs’ Impact on Defense; plus CGSIC, ION

October 11, 2011By

Like many who had the pleasure of interacting with the genius that was Steven Paul "Steve" Jobs, I have been reflecting recently concerning his incredible impact on our lives. Indeed his impact on every aspect of our lives including GPS is almost beyond description. For example, our warfighters are increasingly using iPads and iPhones in theater for multiple functions, including some dedicated and warfighter-developed GPS applications that far outshine any GPS application provided by the government. When will we learn that we must provide our warfighters what they need or they will go elsewhere to find it because lives are at stake? Today many of our warriors are developing their own applications on their individual iPads and iPhones, exactly as Steve Jobs intended. read more

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North Korea Jamming Incident; LightSquared Issue

September 14, 2011By

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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