GNSS Opinions

Out in Front: When the Gavel Comes Down

February 1, 2012By

Perhaps you don’t track suspected criminals in your spare time, nor do you design or supply a GNSS product that does so. Still, the fresh Supreme Court ruling on GPS use for this purpose reverberates for you, in ways yet unknown. The most interesting part of the court’s ruling pops up in a somewhat open-ended “what if” comment concerning future issues that at least one justice thinks the court should address. read more

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Let’s Hear It for the Supremes!

January 24, 2012By

Last week’s Supreme Court ruling on GPS use for tracking criminal suspects makes U.S. law clear on this issue going forward, but it does not address tracking for commercial aspects. One U.S. newspaper editorialized, “the unanimous decision failed to resolve troubling questions about the privacy rights of Americans in the face of intrusive modern surveillance technology.” The privacy picture in other large markets — Europe, Japan, Korea, Russia, China, and elsewhere — remains even less clear. If GNSS should be perceived as a tool of Big Brother (government) or Big Broker (industry selling and buying consumer location data), then all navigation systems acquire a big PR problem, which translates into big funding and modernization problems. read more

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Out in Front: Big Bang Cheery

January 1, 2012By

A supersize bunch of pent-up GNSS just bust out all over. GLONASS is fully operational for the first time in more than 15 years. At least one Galileo in-orbit validation satellite broadcasts the new E1 and E5 signals, maybe both satellites by the time you read this. Compass has completed its regional navigation constellation. The first GPS III satellite testbed arrived at its integration and testing site in Colorado. The Russian SBAS is climbing back onto the air again. And QZSS has been quietly making progress, almost unnoticed. read more

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Expert Advice: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

January 1, 2012By

Across transportation, agriculture, industry, commerce, and finance, GPS has replaced earlier technologies, opened up innovative applications, and led to new ways of doing old things. GPS now plays a key role in the critical infrastructures of all industrialized nations, from the most sophisticated telecommunications system to the production of a simple loaf of bread. Wheat is the world’s second staple food, and bread its main product. Bakers have been around for 30,000 years. GPS, among its manifold other duties, now also helps bring us our breakfast toast and midday sandwich. read more

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

Preparing for the Next Generation: The Multi-GNSS Asia Demonstration Campaign

December 1, 2011By

A dramatic increase over the next five years to roughly 100 GNSS satellites in the skies over Asia and Oceania makes that region the fastest growing area in GNSS. The Multi-GNSS Asia (MGA) initiative, a cooperative international demonstration campaign, seeks to take full advantage of this scientific and technical windfall, gaining early experience with the new signals and services of multi-constellation GNSS. read more

Expert Advice: Test-Based Civil Receiver Certification

December 1, 2011By

Disaster-preparedness plans recognize the individual’s role in his or her own survival. When storms approach, have water, food, and basic survival gear on hand. It takes time for help to arrive. The civil GPS industry faces an oncoming storm of interference, and the receiver is the first line of defense. As we integrate GPS into all facets of our lives and infrastructure, we become more subject to disruptions, both unintentional and intentional. Newark International Airport now sees several jamming events per day. In Taiwan, one airport experiences an average of 117 events per day! read more

Letters to the Editor: The Cost of Reliability

December 1, 2011By

Letters to the Editor: The Cost of Reliability read more

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