Aviation & Space

SBAS Working Group Looks to Galileo for Aircraft Guidance, Defines L5

February 28, 2014By
Planned GAGAN service coverage for the two different service levels (RNP0.1 and APV1). GAGAN has been jointly undertaken by the Airport Authority of India and the Indian Space Research Organization, ISRO, to achieve smooth transition to satellite-based navigation and seamless air traffic management across continents. GAGAN is designed to provide improved accuracy, availability and integrity necessary to enable users to rely on GPS for all phases of flight, from en route through approach for all qualified airports within the GAGAN service volume. More precisely it is aimed to provide Non Precision Approach RNP0.1 service levels to the entire Indian Flight Information Region and Precision Approach APV1 service (equivalent to the current EGNOS Service) within a specified service volume within Indian land mass.

Plans to harness Galileo and other satnav systems for next-generation satellite augmentation systems for aviation and other high-performance uses took a significant step forward at the latest gathering of worldwide operators and experts, reports the European Space Agency. Satellite augmentation systems combine additional ground stations and satellite transponders to sharpen satnav accuracy and reliability across given geographical regions — based... read more

New GPS IIF Satellite Launched

February 21, 2014By
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV lifts off from Space Launch Complex-37 with the Air Force's Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-5 satellite. This launch marked the 25th Delta IV flight since the first flight in 2002.

News compiled with the assistance of CANSPACE listserv. After a brief delay due to concerns over solar radiation trends, the GPS IIF-5 satellite was successfully launched at the end of the designated launch window at 01:59 UTC on February 21. The satellite, attached to the launch rocket’s upper stage, was initially placed in a highly elliptical orbit. Following a third... read more

GNSS Vulnerable: What to Do?

February 18, 2014By

Too Much Sensitivity, Not Enough Robustness, Says Parkinson Brad Parkinson, the founding architect of GPS, told a UK conference that the system needs to be made more robust to ensure worldwide availability of services to users. His concerns over GPS availability relate to threats such as the loss of authorized frequency spectrum (implicitly creating licensed jammers), space weather due to... read more

GPS Satellite Launch Set for Thursday

February 18, 2014By
GPS IIF

The United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket family will launch a new GPS IIF satellite from Cape Canaveral Thursday night. Liftoff is scheduled for Thursday at 8:40 p.m. EST, at the start of a 19-minute launch opportunity, according to the United Launch Alliance. The window is timed to deliver the GPS IIF-5 satellite directly into Plane A of the navigation network... read more

GLONASS-M Satellite Shipped to Launch Site

February 14, 2014By
GLONASS-M54-O

On the night of February 12-13, the GLONASS-M #54 spacecraft left ISS-Reshetnev’s facilities in Zheleznogorsk, Russia, and was transported by air to the Plesetsk cosmodrome. A Soyuz 2.1b / Fregat rocket with the navigation satellite GLONASS-M #54 on board is scheduled for launch in mid-March. The exact launch date is due to be set at a meeting of the state commission.... read more

GPS III Payload Facing Delays

February 11, 2014By

Gen. William Shelton, chief of Air Force Space Command, said the date when prime contractor Lockheed Martin and payload manufacturer Exelis are expected to have the first GPS satellite ready for launch will slip from its original target at the end of this fiscal year, according to National Defense Magazine. Technical difficulties are slowing the development process, he said. “We’re... read more

Next-Generation Clock Increases Stability to 300 Picoseconds

February 11, 2014By
Schreiver-Master-Clock-O

The U.S. Naval Observatory’s Alternate Master Clock on Schriever Air Force Base received its second rubidium fountain clock February 4 to ensure it has the most precise time in the world. Both the USNO’s Washington D.C.-based primary and its local Alternate Master Clock facility serve as the Department of Defense’s common time reference. Additionally, the USNO monitors the GPS constellation... read more

Switzerland Joins the EU’s Galileo Program

February 5, 2014By

Switzerland has signed a cooperation agreement to participate in the Galileo and EGNOS programs, the pillars of the EU’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). Switzerland will now fully financially participate in the programs, and will retroactively contribute €80 million for the period 2008-2013. The agreement, signed in Brussels December 18, 2013, also covers cooperation in areas such as security, export control,... read more