Opinions

Where Am I?

January 12, 2012By

I have long advocated that our warfighters and first responders deserve the best equipment available so they can answer the basic question, "Where Am I?" quickly and with complete certainty. Or, "Where am I now and how do I get to someplace of relative safety quickly?" Unfortunately, government-furnished equipment (GFE), in this case the GPS handheld equipment we supply our warfighters, does not do a good or even adequate job of answering that question. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Defense, Defense PNT Newsletter, Newsletter Editorials, Opinions

Out in Front: Big Bang Cheery

January 1, 2012By

A supersize bunch of pent-up GNSS just bust out all over. GLONASS is fully operational for the first time in more than 15 years. At least one Galileo in-orbit validation satellite broadcasts the new E1 and E5 signals, maybe both satellites by the time you read this. Compass has completed its regional navigation constellation. The first GPS III satellite testbed arrived at its integration and testing site in Colorado. The Russian SBAS is climbing back onto the air again. And QZSS has been quietly making progress, almost unnoticed. read more

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Expert Advice: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

January 1, 2012By

Across transportation, agriculture, industry, commerce, and finance, GPS has replaced earlier technologies, opened up innovative applications, and led to new ways of doing old things. GPS now plays a key role in the critical infrastructures of all industrialized nations, from the most sophisticated telecommunications system to the production of a simple loaf of bread. Wheat is the world’s second staple food, and bread its main product. Bakers have been around for 30,000 years. GPS, among its manifold other duties, now also helps bring us our breakfast toast and midday sandwich. read more

Freemium Model for in-Vehicle LBS

December 20, 2011By

Cloud-based infotainment, more tightly integrated apps, and more personalized offerings will change the in-vehicle mobile experience. Interfaces will morph towards combinations of heads-up displays and voice. These were some of the conclusions from my December 1 webinar “Car as a Mobile LBS Device,” with panelists from Ford, OnStar, Pioneer and TomTom. How in-vehicle apps will be monetized is an open question. When polled, almost half of the webinar audience believed a “freemium” model will prevail. Freemium models work by offering a product or service free of charge while charging a premium for advanced features. read more

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Interview: 2nd Space Operations Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. Jennifer Grant

December 14, 2011By
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December is typically the month when writers of regularly featured columns wax nostalgic and engage in a certain amount of prognostication. This year I enlisted the help of Lt. Col. Jennifer Grant, the 2SOPS/CC at Schriever AFB, the home of GPS, to help us with our year-end review and crystal-ball gazing as we look ahead to the GPS horizon. Lt. Col. Grant reminisces about her first 16 months as 2SOPS/CC, reviews numerous major accomplishments, and updates us on the status of the GPS constellation as well as the often overlooked, ever contentious and always seemingly in flux critical Command and Control (C2) segment. read more

2011 Showed Better LBS Market Gains, But Was It All About Google?

December 14, 2011By

2011 was a decent year for the location-based services industry. It was an even better year if your company was lucky enough to get bought out by an eBay, Google or Intel. While acquisitions stood out as the key LBS news in 2011, privacy stood out as an ugly issue that threatened consumer acceptance. In addition, automobile manufacturers are viewing social media as a new profitable technology for vehicles and were trying to convince consumers that the connected vehicle is the way of the future. read more

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A Nationwide RTK Network: A Great Idea, But…

December 12, 2011By

Some folks are proposing that a nationwide RTK Network (RTN) be piggy-backed on the controversial LightSquared communications network. That could be cool, if it can be done. No one is saying that it can’t be done, but there are reservations on whether it would be worth the massive investments needed to pull it off, and that there might be little gain at all over the existing presence of RTN in the U.S. read more

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Directions 2012: A Look Ahead

December 7, 2011By

At the end of every year, I title this column Directions, in which I discuss significant developments, trends, technologies, companies, and so on, in the GNSS industry. This year, two entities have captured my attention and have the potential to significantly transform the GNSS industry: the FCC/LightSquared and Galileo, the European satnav system. read more

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