Opinions

Expert Opinions: New US FAA rule on UAVs

October 10, 2016By

Q: What is the single most important take-away from the new Federal Aviation Administration rule on UAVs?   A: This regulation brings some stability to industry looking to invest in UAS operations and should stimulate technology development that benefits all classes of UAS. This first step should also allow the FAA to turn their attention to the more compelling parts... read more

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High plains PNT: Awareness and sense of place

October 7, 2016By

The plenary talk by John O’Keefe at ION GNSS+ stimulated a lot of neuron firing inside this old noggin. For a synopsis of “The Positioning System of the Brain,” see this column by Managing Editor Tracy Cozzens. I had the difficult task of following this brilliant scientist to the podium and introducing ION’s track chairs for previews of the conference’s... read more

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Analyzing NGS’ GPS on benchmark dataset used to make GEOID12B

October 5, 2016By

These columns have focused on procedures and routines for establishing GNSS-derived orthometric heights. There are many ways to analyze and investigate GNSS data and adjustment results. I have provided some basic concepts that I believe are important for users to understand. The selection of constraints is a very important part of establishing accurate and consistent NAVD 88 GNSS-derived orthometric heights. All... read more

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Discover your inner GPS

October 3, 2016By

The Institute of Navigation Satellite Division looked deeply inward for its keynote speaker at this year’s ION GNSS+ conference, held Sept. 12–16 in Portland, Oregon. Nobel Laureate John O’Keefe provided insight into how our brains determine position. In 1971, O’Keefe recorded signals from individual nerve cells in the hippocampus of rats roaming about a room. He found that a type... read more

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Portrait of Galileo: European groups say constellation is ready for service

September 28, 2016By

Spokespersons from the European Commission, the European Space Agency and the European GNSS Agency (GSA) built a portrait of Galileo at the ION GNNS+ conference of a satellite constellation ready to step upon the world stage. Meanwhile, four new satellites are scheduled to launch aboard a single Ariane rocket on Nov. 17, leading to declaration of initial services by the... read more

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Galileo Initial Services looming

September 26, 2016By

With Galileo Initial Services at last on the horizon and a quadruple satellite launch scheduled for November, here’s hoping that Europe’s GNSS constellation will be delivering limited, but reliable, global PNT services before the year is out. The four Galileo satellites for Arianespace’s first Ariane 5 mission for the constellation are being prepared at ESA’s launch facility in French Guiana.... read more

What does ION GNSS+ reveal about the GNSS industry?

September 21, 2016By

Back again in Portland, Oregon, the 2016 Institute of Navigation’s ION GNSS+ conference was a great opportunity for the GNSS community to catch up on what’s been cooking in the industry, and of course who’s been doing what in the research community. The attendees eagerly took to a wide range of technical paper presentation sessions, and from time to time came to... read more

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September budgeting surprises: Scarcity or surplus?

September 14, 2016By

Halloween may occur in October for the civil and commercial population, but for the U.S. government (USG) all the craziness of the spooky season starts in earnest in September. The end of the USG’s fiscal year (FY) ends the last day of September, and Oct. 1 is a whole new ballgame from a monetary and budgeting perspective. All the machinations... read more

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