GNSS Opinions

Out in Front: Live Free or Die Hard

August 1, 2012By

The 2007 action film of that name concerns a domestic criminal plot, disguised as a terrorist attack upon U.S. infrastructure: an Internet-based hack into Federal Bureau of Investigation computers, the transportation infrastructure, the stock market, national video broadcast channels, the utility power grid, the National Security Agency, and the Department of Defense nerve center. One of the film’s two heroes recognizes this as a fire sale, an attack upon the nation’s computer controls, an attack in which “everything must go.” read more

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Out in Front: The Quick Quid

July 1, 2012By

Maybe we should take it as validation, an acknowledgment of the worth, maturity, and promise of the GNSS industry, that profiteers show up trying to make a fast buck. A prompt pound, a quick quid. Or perhaps we should be angry at this violation of international trust, this grasping effort to monetize the free and open exchange of scientific ideas, this contravention of the very spirit and tradition of global navigation satellite systems and signals. read more

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The Patent Brouhaha

June 28, 2012By

Two British technologists backed by the U.K. Ministry of Defense have filed patents on the future interoperable GPS and Galileo signal designs that severely disrupt modernization plans for both systems and suddenly, unexpectedly place receiver manufacturers in a highly uncertain and unfavorable situation. Some of the patents have been granted in the U.K. and in Europe, and applications are pending in U.S. patent court, with a ruling expected at any time. read more

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Out in Front: State of the Industry

June 1, 2012By

It’s not been done before, so we’re going to do it now. In the September issue of this magazine will appear the very first State of the Industry report. On the GNSS industry, of course. It will cover such topics as the global economy and how it affects business in your sector. Customers’ availability of capital to invest is top-of-mind for most industry professionals, whether designers, manufacturers, integrators, suppliers/dealers, or end users. read more

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Guest Editorial: Commercial GPS Receivers See Combat Action

May 23, 2012By

This month we present a guest column by James D. Litton, who attended the 2012 GPS Partnership Council, jointly sponsored by the Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association and the U.S. Air Force GPS Directorate. The key topic of this year’s council quickly emerged as the tension between commercial off-the-shelf GPS receivers and official military issue; the two are used side-by-side in active military theaters. read more

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Out in Front: That’s Denial

May 1, 2012By

‘We have virtually no defense against the cyberattacks that are targeting us now, and will be in the future.” Richard Clarke served three U.S. presidents as counterterrorism czar. He wrote a fascinating — and terrorizing — article in the April issue of Smithsonian magazine, from which comes that quote. I posted it on my LinkedIn page and asked for input for this editorial. read more

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Our Man in the Baltic: Report from the European Navigation Conference

April 25, 2012By

GDANSK, POLAND — Poland has emerged as a regional leader for Eastern Europe. Among all European countries, it ranks fourth in population and ninth in the size of its national economy. This year, the European Navigation Conference (ENC), which rotates each year to a different host country, has convened in Gdansk, Poland — its first time in Eastern Europe. read more

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Navigating the Moon

March 28, 2012By

The European Space Agency has issued an intriguing Intended Invitation To Tender, “Weak GNSS Signal Navigation on the Moon.” The study will investigate use of weak-signal GPS/GNSS — and of course ESA is interested primarily in the use of Galileo — for real-time position, navigation and timing information to various future lunar assets such as automated landers, rovers, Earth-Moon transportation vehicle, in-situ navigation, and so on. read more

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