Opinions

Uber and Decarta: Automated Taxi Tomorrow?

March 25, 2015By
Janice Partyka

The force of mapping was punctuated this month when Uber, the juggernaut taxi service, acquired long-time mapping and navigation company deCarta. Uber and its competitor, Lyft, redefined taxi service with a smartphone app that connects users and drivers. These services have exceled by offering reliable low-cost rides and quick pick-ups, functionality that is enabled by seamless mapping and navigation technologies.... read more

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Javad Ashjaee Urges Diplomacy, Cooperation to End Crimean Stand-Off

March 25, 2015By

By Javad Ashjaee 25 years ago, while the Soviet Union still existed, I began efforts that led me to become the first to combine United States’ GPS and Russia’s GLONASS satellites. Later I hosted many GPS and GLONASS authorities, fostered friendships among them, and promoted concepts such as “compatibility” and “interoperability” of satellite systems. See the details in the GPS... read more

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Flying Without GPS One Dark, Stormy Night

March 11, 2015By
AWACS refueling (Photo courtesy of the USAF).

In 1978, I was stationed in Iceland as Supervisor of Flying for U.S. Air Force military aircraft. My boss, Major General-selectee John L. (Pete) Piotrowski, had arrived for a visit. In the days before GPS, during a particularly stormy and icy night, we experienced a close call with an AWAC aircraft, leading to just one of the leadership lessons I learned from this great man. Plus: The difference GPS made. read more

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In GNSS Race, Could Galileo Be Surging into Second?

March 4, 2015By
σ(pr_gnd) versus elevation for Galileo E1 (dotted lines) and GPS L1 (solid lines for different smoothing constants: red (10s), green (30s), cyan (60s), purple (100s).

A Lockheed Martin vice president has stated that the first GPS III satellite will likely launch in 2017, not 2016 as had been projected in the most recent update. The company is readying the first satellite for launch availability by the end of 2015, for launch as early as the end of this year, but Mark Valerio, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's military space business, stated in a Feb. 18 news briefing that he expects the Air Force will schedule its launch for early 2017. read more

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Successful Testing — and Why It Is More Important Than Ever

March 2, 2015By

By John Pottle and Neal Fedora Precision matters. While “accuracy” is somewhat one-dimensional, “precision” is multi-faceted. We submit to you that whatever area of GNSS-based location you are interested in, precision matters today and will matter more in the future. In this column, we’ll explain why this is. Traditional test approaches involve taking measurements to evaluate fundamental performance, for example,... read more

Out in Front: GPS III and the Budget Blues

March 1, 2015By

Guest column by Don Jewell, Defense Editor In the 2016 President’s Budget, submitted in February, the U.S. Air Force requested a budget of $122.2 billion. That exceeds the Office of Management and Budget’s recommendation by almost $10 billion. I applaud the Air Force action and think it may be too little, too late. On the satellite or hardware side of... read more

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Expert Advice: A Leap into the Unknown?

March 1, 2015By
Leap-Second-O

A leap second will be introduced this year at 23:59 on June 30. This phenomenon comes around periodically and is necessary for keeping UTC in line with the Earth’s slowing rotation. Although it will pass unnoticed by most, it has implications for anyone involved in the development of GNSS-enabled devices. For some, it can be the cause of a major headache. read more