GNSS Opinions

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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Out in Front: The Fire Next Time

March 1, 2012By

We have turned back the LightSquared effort to establish a threatening beachhead adjacent to GPS spectrum bands. Having expended many millions, we can now return to our business, secure in having demonstrated both our rights and our rightness. No. We cannot afford to do that. read more

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Never Again? Oh, Again and Again.

February 22, 2012By

When the last English inhabitant of Virginia’s Lost Colony succumbed to hunger or swamp fever or local assimilation in 1588, Chesapeake chief Powhatan may have turned to his council and said, “Well, that’s the last of that. No more will we be troubled by outsiders infringing on our territory. Let’s get back to doing what we do best.” read more

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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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