Expert Advice & Leadership Talks

Expert Advice: Who Won?

August 1, 2011By

Thousands of man hours and millions of dollars later, we finally have the 975-page GPS Technical Working Group (TWG) report, confirming what five minutes of back-of-the-envelope calculation predicted. Hooray for our side, good job GPS Industry Council; we’ve won the war and the foe is vanquished, never to brighten our skies again. Well, maybe. LightSquared is now bypassing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and submitting technical papers directly to the United Nation’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Working Party that handles mobile satellite services (MSS) and radio determination satellite service (RDSS spectrum) and orbits (ITU-R WP 4C). read more

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Expert Advice: Critical Offshore Applications of SBAS GNSS

July 1, 2011By

Precise positioning of many different kinds of vessels and other equipment depend upon satellite-based augmentation systems (SBAS) of GNSS, principally GPS and GLONASS at this time. The applications range from exploration to production and delivery of hydrocarbons to shore-based installations and navigation of very large crude carriers, or oil tankers. Decisions and recommendations are strongly needed to keep these services free from interference. read more

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Expert Advice: Energy Production Concerns about LightSquared

July 1, 2011By

Dear Chairman Genachowski: The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), which represents approximately 270 member companies involved in outer continental shelf (OCS) energy production throughout the United States, is gravely concerned over the pending allocation of Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) spectrum to LightSquared, Inc. for terrestrial high-powered transmissions. LightSquared’s proposed transmission structure will adversely impact GPS and Inmarsat signals along our coastlines, both of which are critical to marine operations. read more

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Expert Advice: GNSS Interference, Detection, and Mitigation

May 1, 2011By

Interference, detection, and mitigation — these have become topics of paramount importance to the GNSS community recently, surpassing at times even those old familiar standards accuracy, availability, and integrity. In March, a large expert audience attended a GNSS Interference, Detection, and Mitigation (IDM) conference at the United Kingdom’s National Physical Laboratory near London. My conclusions first, followed by reportage of the details. read more

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Expert Advice: Positioning Protocol for Next-Gen Cell Phones

March 1, 2011By
Figure 3. Example of a typical LPP positioning session.

As cell phones move into the next generation called Long-Term Evolution (LTE), also sometimes called 4G, and the methods of wireless transmission change, so too must the methods of providing location information over those new wireless interfaces. LTE Positioning Protocol (LPP) and Secure User Plane Location (SUPL) 2.0 and 3.0 are the key players in this new picture. read more

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Expert Advice: Why Geodesy Matters, Now More than Ever

January 1, 2011By
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Geodesy is a suite of powerful Earth-observation techniques, associated methodologies, and analysis tools that today are making a vital contribution to science and society. Yet geodesy is not a new, child-of-technology sciaence. It dates back hundreds of years — some would claim thousands of years, and that the ancient Greeks and other pre-Christian cultures shaped its direction. This is illustrated by its classical definition as the science of measuring and mapping the geometry, orientation in space, and gravity field of the Earth; these days we also include their variations over time. At a practical level, geodetic practice forms the foundation for surveying, navigation, and mapping, and the digital datasets underpinning these activities. read more

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Expert Advice: The Strategic Significance of Compass

December 1, 2010By

On November 1, 2010, China’s state news agency reported that the sixth Compass satellite was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. This was the fourth Compass satellite put into orbit this year, following launches in January, June, and August. Joining the United States, Russia, and the European Union, China is deploying is own global navigation satellite system of five geosynchronous satellites, 27 in medium Earth orbit (MEO) and three in highly inclined geosynchronous orbits (IGSO). Sometimes referred to as Beidou-2, Compass is a global RNSS (radio-navigation satellite system) that broadcasts one-way precision time signals to enable receivers to calculate their position. An earlier Chinese satellite navigation system, Beidou-1, was an RDSS (radio-determination satellite system) that provided regional coverage and required two satellites to get a position fix using two-way communications with a centralized ground station. read more

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Galileo from the Top: Interview with the EC’s Paul Verhoef

November 20, 2010By

Paul Verhoef, the European Commission’s program manager for European Union (EU) satellite navigation programs — namely Galileo — discussed current issues at some length with GPS World, in a conversation on November 10. He addressed aspects of interoperability with GPS and prospects for further development in that area, the need for an ongoing political commitment by the EU to Galileo, the challenges of financing, the prospects for an 18-satellite constellation (which he dismisses as unrealistic), military considerations for both Galileo and GPS, and the recent uncertainty around Galileo’s Public Regulated Service. read more

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