Aviation & Space

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

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