From the Editor

Out in Front: EGNOS Up

August 1, 2010By

We now definitively declare “curtain up!” on the second act of the human and technological drama, Interoperable Global Navigation Satellite Systems, by many authors, directors, and actors, upon the global stage. It happened on August 2 with removal of the message 0 (“Do Not Use in aviation”), by the European Satellite Services Provider, from the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) signal. It enables EGNOS use for en-route and lateral guidance approaches. read more

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Out in Front: Welling Up

July 1, 2010By

One of the first industrial uses of GPS came in survey and seismic exploration for offshore oil, as evidenced by the cover story of this magazine’s September 1992 issue. A salient passage from that 18-year-old “Quality Control For Differential GPS in Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration” article: “Users are in danger of being mesmerized by the apparent simplicty of the technology and abandoning quality-control principles . . . . The key to routine operations is rigorous real-time quality control.” Eerily, among the companies acknowledged for support of that article was BP Exploration. read more

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Letters to the Editor

July 1, 2010By

Our readers respond to the cover features in the May and June issues: the two-part special the "Origins of GPS" and Richard Langley's look at "GPS by the Numbers." read more

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Out in Front: Brussels Calling

June 1, 2010By

The European Commission rang up the other day, concerned that a recent column contained misperceptions about the Galileo Open Service Signal-in-Space Interface Control Document (ICD). I replied that if misperception exists, it is shared by at least some in industry.Though the EC has abandoned a plan to charge for licenses, its requirement for a free license and continued talk of patents on the Galileo signal dampen industry enthusiasm for making Galileo receivers, at least in North America. read more

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Out in Front: What’s in a Number?

April 1, 2010By

Computers killed a trusty companion of my teenage years. That is, after those proto-computers known as pocket calculators knocked him out and left him unconscious on the cooling floor. But I come to praise my slide rule, not to bury him. With computers, it’s just numbers in, numbers out. Maybe that high-tech approach led both the GPS Wing and the Government Accountability Office into trouble with constellation gaps. read more

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Out in Front: Apply the Seat of the Pants

March 1, 2010By

Not “fly by,” but “apply.” As in W. Somerset Maugham’s advice to aspiring young writers: Apply the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. Get grounded. Confront the blank page, the typewriter, or the less preferable modern equipments (because instant electronics short-circuit orderly brain function) for a period of silence and contemplation. Above all, think. Then, and only then, communicate. read more

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Out in Front: Rocky Road to Robustness

February 1, 2010By

The system’s command and control operational software update uploaded in late 2009 (see page 10) has started wreaking some havoc with installed military receivers across many fielded platforms, as well as with some civil receivers. Whether major or minor havoc, I don’t pretend to know yet. The concept of selective availability anti-spoofing module (SAASM) figures in it, though now I’m toeing classified turf. read more

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Out in Front: GPS World, 20 Years Young

January 1, 2010By

We celebrate two solid decades of publication! Since 1990, GPS World has provided GPS and then GNSS technical and business information to industry readers and decision-makers around the world. Below are brief memoirs from those who were in at the start. read more

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