Aviation & Space

Blast from Sun Unsettles Earth’s Magnetic Field, but No Storming

January 13, 2014By
Image of the sun on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, from the Solar X-Ray Imager on NOAA's GOES satellite, taken just after the maximum emission of a solar flare. The eruption came from the middle of the sun and is directed toward Earth. This is the largest solar flare so far this year.

Forecasters at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center said the sun’s coronal mass ejection (CME) that reached Earth on Jan. 9, unsettled the geomagnetic field but did not cause storm conditions to be reached due to the weak magnetic field. While there is still a chance we could see some geomagnetic storming, that threat is greatly diminished. The Space Weather Prediction... read more

DoT Disses DoD’s GPS Chops

January 9, 2014By

The departing Deputy Secretary of Transportation, John Porcari, wrote a letter in the closing days of 2013 opposing the U.S. Air Force’s announced plans to begin broadcasting Civil Navigation (CNAV) message-populated L2C and L5 signals as early as April 2014. Military personnel are incensed over what they see as Porcari’s impugning, when not ignoring, the Air Force 35-year track record... read more

FAA Selects Six Sites for UAV Research

January 3, 2014By
Source: FAA

After a rigorous 10-month selection process involving 25 proposals from 24 states, the Federal Aviation Administration announced it has chosen six unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) research and test site operators across the country. According to the announcement, in selecting the six test site operators, the FAA considered geography, climate, location of ground infrastructure, research needs, airspace use, safety, aviation experience... read more

The System: Two More Threes for Space

January 1, 2014By

A December 12 contract modification provided Air Force funding to Lockheed Martin to complete the fifth and sixth GPS III space vehicles (SV 05-06). Lockheeed originally received funding to procure long-lead parts for satellites five through eight (SV 05-08) in February 2013. read more

Raytheon Receives $16M Contract for Miniaturized Airborne GPS Receivers

December 18, 2013By
The open architecture design of MAGR 2000-S24 allows modernization and upgrade of GPS functional capabilities through replacement of a single electronics module.

Raytheon Company has received a $15.8 million contract order for its MAGR 2000-S24 miniaturized airborne GPS receiver. The order, which includes new production and sustainment of existing systems, is the first under an Indefinite Delivery-Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract awarded to the company in September 2013 by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Raytheon recently completed its 2,000th... read more

Lockheed Receives $200M for GPS III 5 and 6

December 17, 2013By
GPSIII-prototype-ocx-test-O

Lockheed Martin Corporation has been awarded $200 million to produce GPS III satellites 05 and0 6 by the U.S. Air Force. Lockheed Marin originally received funding to procure long-lead parts for satellites five through eight (SV 05-08) in February. The award is a $200,700,415 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification (P00276) on an existing contract (FA8807-08-C-0010). Work will be performed at Littleton, Colorado, and... read more

Galileo Achieves First Airborne Tracking

December 12, 2013By
Aircraft position as obtained by Galileo-only receiver during Netherlands flight.

The European Space Agency’s Galileo satellites have achieved their first aerial fix of longitude, latitude and altitude, enabling the inflight tracking of a test aircraft. ESA’s four Galileo satellites in orbit have supported months of positioning tests on the ground across Europe since the first fix in March. Now the first aerial tracking using Galileo has taken place, marking the... read more

Directions 2014: Keeping Our Commitment to Civil Users

December 1, 2013By
Colonel William T. “Bill” Cooley.

The cliché “time flies when you’re having fun” accurately describes how quickly the past six months have passed for me. In a program as challenging, rewarding, and mission-critical as GPS, it is full-speed ahead all the time. As the GPS director, I am acutely aware of the importance of time — particularly high-accuracy time. Since declaring initial operational capability in December 1993, the extremely precise time service delivered by GPS has enabled numerous technological advances around the globe. read more