Opinions

Directions 2017: New GLONASS capabilities for users

FIGURE 2. Passive hydrogen maser.

In October 2017 we will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the first GLONASS satellite launch. Since 1982, the capabilities provided by GLONASS satellites have multiplied and the system’s ground infrastructure has expanded beyond the Russian Federation. Growing demand for satellite navigation services and increasing user requirements call for continuing modernization, which is only possible if advanced, technically complex solutions are... read more

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NGS to replace NAVD 88 in 2022: What GNSS users need to know

December 7, 2016By
[FIGURE 1] New Datums: Approximate Orthometric Height Change

Understand the differences between the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 and the new 2022 Vertical Reference Datum My Survey Scene columns have focused on procedures and routines for establishing GNSS-derived orthometric heights. My last column focused on analyzing NGS’ GPS on BM data set that is used to make National Geodetic Survey’s (NGS) hybrid geoid models. It provided procedures... read more

Directions 2017: BeiDou’s road to global service

December 6, 2016By
Li Wang

An effective approach has been taken by the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), and significant progress has been witnessed in 2016, from the aspects of launching new satellites, verifying new technologies, promoting applications and industrialization, strengthening international cooperation, and formulating fundamental policies. Construction Update. In March 2016, a BDS satellite was launched into an inclined geo-synchronous orbit (IGSO); another geosynchronous... read more

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Directions 2017: GPS navigates the future

December 2, 2016By
Col. Whitney with the Green Monster, mascot of the U.S. Air Force GPS Directorate.

I’m proud to be a part of the accomplishments of the men and women of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Global Positioning System Directorate at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California. The year has been extremely challenging, but looking back on 2016, we have taken real steps forward to modernize the GPS Enterprise and the way... read more

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The launch of 4 and declaration of Galileo operations

November 30, 2016By
Already above Earth’s atmosphere, Ariane’s aerodynamic fairing is jettisoned and the four Galileo satellites enter space for the first time. (Image: ESA)

“Now that we can rely on the powerful Ariane 5, we can anticipate the quicker completion of Galileo deployment, permitting the system to enter full operation,” said Paul Verhoef, ESA’s Director for the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities, following the successful launch Nov. 17 of four satellites at once. Verhoef made the following further remarks to GPS World regarding Galileo’s future. The... read more

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UAV Update: Fuel cells, Droneboxes and hostile drones

November 16, 2016By

We might have thought of fuel cells in the past coming from historical problems way back on Apollo 13, or more recently in connection with advanced hybrid cars. But now it seems they are one source of long endurance flight for UAVs. Not really a surprise when there are claims of energy levels of 1000 watt/hour per kilogram versus 150... read more

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Poll: Experiences with jamming, spoofing and RF interference

November 14, 2016By
jimi-purple-haze

Not with Purple Haze, but with signal interference — although, come to think of it, the two may be not unalike, phenomenologically. The October reader’s poll asked “Have you directly experienced any of the following? Check all that apply. GPS/GNSS jamming. GPS/GNSS spoofing. Unintentional RF interference. RF interference from unknown source; unknown whether intentional or not. None of the above.... read more

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US military plans autonomous cargo-hauling and combat vehicles, drone swarms

November 9, 2016By
The Army's squad mission support transport robot (SMET).

Soldier-borne sensors, leader-follower cargo-hauling technology and tiny, handheld unmanned aircraft are in the forefront of new technologies planned for U.S. warfighters, according to Maj. Gen. Robert M. “Bo” Dyess. The deputy director of the U.S. Army Capability Integration Center told AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems Defense keynote audience that developing tools and systems demanded by soldiers is key. He cited a recent... read more

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