Opinions

Year of the Generals

July 9, 2014By

Several pleasant surprises popped up at this year’s Institute of Navigation’s Joint Navigation Conference (ION JNC) in Orlando, Florida, and the best by far centered on the presenters and the attendees. In a change from recent years due to budget restrictions, better known as sequescastration, this year two senior Air Force generals attended and actively participated in several events. General... read more

FAA Issues First Commercial UAS Authorization over Land

July 2, 2014By
American Aerospace RS-16 UAS. 12'11" Wingspan. 85 lbs.

Like it or not, as a person who works with geospatial data, UAS (unmanned aerial systems such as drones and UAVs) are in your future. The upside of said technology for “quick and dirty” mapping is undeniable. GNSS plays a key role with UAS, just like it plays a key role in classical photogrammetry. In fact, UAS may even push GNSS technology... read more

‘Flying for GPS’: Memoir of a Pioneer Era — Excerpt

July 1, 2014By

Flying for GPS, a chronicle of Len Jacobson’s role in the development and promotion of the Global Positioning System, has just been published. The book spans a 50-year career, during which Jacobson flew 2.5 million miles as a missionary for GPS and as a developer of user equipment. He kept an extensive log of all of his flights, and it... read more

Expert Advice: Tigers, Tycoons on View at China SatNav

July 1, 2014By
CSNC-2

  I attended the China Satellite Navigation Conference in Nanjing in May, the fifth year of CSNC and my third time attending. Tremendous progress was evident this year in terms of BeiDou (BDS) deployment and China’s general openness and willingness to collaborate over those years. I have also seen a slowly growing international presence at the show and expect that... read more

Out in Front: Epic Fail

July 1, 2014By

Sometimes the patient has to get sick in order to get better. The eruption of a malady leads to identification of an underlying condition; appropriate treatment can then be devised to cure the body of its ills. Sound like House, M.D.? As a variant on this plot line, the patient can know full well what is wrong deep down inside,... read more

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Europe Weighs Mandate of Galileo Chips in Mobile Phones

June 30, 2014By

The European Commission is considering a requirement for mobile phones, and perhaps other portable devices such as tablets, to be equipped with Galileo receivers that would automatically send location data as part of any emergency call to 112. E112 is a location-enhanced version of the 112 universal European emergency services number via telephone, equivalent to 911 in the United States, in which the... read more

Occupy Media Space Now EGNOS and Galileo Mission

June 29, 2014By

By Peter de Selding The message to the recent European Space Solutions conference in Prague was simple enough: EGNOS is here, so let’s use it; Galileo is almost here, so let’s promote it. Neither task is straightforward. Take the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), the European piece of a near-global network of terminals on geostationary satellites linked to networks... read more

GPS Industry Breathes Sigh of Relief

June 25, 2014By
LightSquared-spectrum-W

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission convened a June 20 workshop on “GPS Protection and Receiver Performance” whose bite turned out to be far less than its bark had led some in the GPS industry to fear. The hastily assembled workshop — three weeks notice was given — appeared at first notice to derive from the call for “GPS receiver performance standards”... read more