From the Editor

Out in Front: Live Free or Die Hard

August 1, 2012By

The 2007 action film of that name concerns a domestic criminal plot, disguised as a terrorist attack upon U.S. infrastructure: an Internet-based hack into Federal Bureau of Investigation computers, the transportation infrastructure, the stock market, national video broadcast channels, the utility power grid, the National Security Agency, and the Department of Defense nerve center. One of the film’s two heroes recognizes this as a fire sale, an attack upon the nation’s computer controls, an attack in which “everything must go.” read more

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Out in Front: The Quick Quid

July 1, 2012By

Maybe we should take it as validation, an acknowledgment of the worth, maturity, and promise of the GNSS industry, that profiteers show up trying to make a fast buck. A prompt pound, a quick quid. Or perhaps we should be angry at this violation of international trust, this grasping effort to monetize the free and open exchange of scientific ideas, this contravention of the very spirit and tradition of global navigation satellite systems and signals. read more

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Out in Front: State of the Industry

June 1, 2012By

It’s not been done before, so we’re going to do it now. In the September issue of this magazine will appear the very first State of the Industry report. On the GNSS industry, of course. It will cover such topics as the global economy and how it affects business in your sector. Customers’ availability of capital to invest is top-of-mind for most industry professionals, whether designers, manufacturers, integrators, suppliers/dealers, or end users. read more

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Out in Front: That’s Denial

May 1, 2012By

‘We have virtually no defense against the cyberattacks that are targeting us now, and will be in the future.” Richard Clarke served three U.S. presidents as counterterrorism czar. He wrote a fascinating — and terrorizing — article in the April issue of Smithsonian magazine, from which comes that quote. I posted it on my LinkedIn page and asked for input for this editorial. read more

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Out in Front: Independence: A National Value

April 1, 2012By

Advanced low-frequency (LF) signals are back on the air in North America, with live testing of a wide-area precise-timing solution. Initial tests include a comprehensive pallet of signals, including eLoran, that are being evaluated for their ability to provide a robust, wide-area, wireless precise-timing alternative that can operate cooperatively with GPS, or during periods of GPS unavailability. read more

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Out in Front: The Fire Next Time

March 1, 2012By

We have turned back the LightSquared effort to establish a threatening beachhead adjacent to GPS spectrum bands. Having expended many millions, we can now return to our business, secure in having demonstrated both our rights and our rightness. No. We cannot afford to do that. read more

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Out in Front: When the Gavel Comes Down

February 1, 2012By

Perhaps you don’t track suspected criminals in your spare time, nor do you design or supply a GNSS product that does so. Still, the fresh Supreme Court ruling on GPS use for this purpose reverberates for you, in ways yet unknown. The most interesting part of the court’s ruling pops up in a somewhat open-ended “what if” comment concerning future issues that at least one justice thinks the court should address. read more

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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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