From the Editor

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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Out in Front: Feds Playing Footsie

December 1, 2011By

I’ll be the first to say that I don’t know how Washington works. I don’t know if Washington works, but that’s another story. Lacking that knowledge, and a competent lawyer to pepper my filings with the requisite “Vaughn v. Rosen, 484 F.2d 820 (D.C. Cir. 1973), cert. denied, 415 U.S. 977 (1972) . . . claims of nonsegregability must be made with the same degree of detail” language, all my Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for agency communications to the National Telecommunications Administration (NTIA) failed. My FOIA won-lost record stands at 0–7. read more

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Out in Front: Catch a Wave

November 1, 2011By
surfingbigwave-W

Expecting guidance from FCC regulators by year’s end? LightSquared purports to do so, but a more measured evaluation finds a December decision unlikely. The current test cycle — hopefully not the final one — just reached its end on November 4 at White Sands Missile Range, under the Air Force’s watchful eye. That testing focused only on “cellular and personal/general navigation” receivers as specified in a September letter from the National Telecommunication and Information Agency. According to unconfirmed reports, this round of testing did not include the JAVAD GNSS precision receiver with a new filter prototype, although LightSquared lobbied strongly to have the potentially bacon-rescuing device included. read more

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Out in Front: C’mon, People Now

October 1, 2011By
sonnycher-O

In this hour of crisis, in this hour of need, I would recall for you the immortal words of the Brotherhood of Man, as reprised here by their disciples, Sonny and Cher: For united we stand, Divided we fall, And if our backs should ever be against the wall, We’ll be together, Together, you and I. Or will we? read more

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Out in Front: The Good, the Bad, the Incompetent

September 1, 2011By

The most efficient use of spectrum the world has ever seen benefits more than a billion people today. Two billion tomorrow, when modernized and interoperable GNSS gets real. This massive installed base constitutes a source of innovative advantage and invaluable good will for the United States. The latter arises from the high degree of trust and confidence in the United States and its stewardship of GPS, one of the most successful — and perhaps only — simultaneous foreign aid and domestic economic stimulus programs ever created. read more

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Out in Front: A Pawn in Their Game

August 1, 2011By

Maybe we got played. But we put up a good fight. We really had no option to do anything but fight. So we did, and we’re still fighting the LightSquared attack on the GPS signal. It’s not over yet, not by a long shot. Suspicions now creep in that the attack may have been a feint, that the company never really intended to do what it threatened: broadcast a very powerful signal from ground towers, on a frequency immediately adjacent to the GPS signal. LightSquared had its eye on another prize instead. read more

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Letters to the Editor

August 1, 2011By

August's letters to the editor. read more

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Out in Front: The Daughter of Time

July 1, 2011By

"Truth,” wrote Sir Francis Bacon, “is the daughter of time.” He meant that any account, repeated often enough by different people in different places, at different junctures, eventually becomes accepted as historical fact, or truth, by those with no direct knowledge of the matter. That’s why it is so important to repudiate and expose lies at every encounter. Never, ever let one pass. Even when it’s the same one that you dispelled yesterday — or thought you had taken care of. One thing about liars, they keep coming back. They don’t give up. Would you give up, if you had $20 billion at stake? read more

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