Out in Front: The System, Simulated

May 1, 2013  - By

Wealth, breadth, and depth. That’s what this issue brings you, in signal simulation- and testing-related content. Unfortunately, the wealth on offer has to large extent elbowed out our two news sections, The Business and The System. The former is given short shrift in this issue and the latter even shorter herewith, in pithy precis with website shortcuts. And our apologies.

Let’s all remember, brevity is the soul of wit.

GPS III Flexible Signal Generator. With completion of the Delta Preliminary Design Review for the GPS III satellites, Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force announced that “an innovative new waveform generator permits the addition of new navigation signals after launch to upgrade the constellation without the need to launch new satellites.”

IGS Real-Time Service. The International GNSS Service, a worldwide federation of agencies involved in high-­precision GNSS applications, announced the launch of its Real-­Time Service (RTS). The RTS is a global-scale GNSS orbit and clock correction service that enables real-time precise point positioning and related applications requiring access to IGS low-latency products. The RTS is offered in beta as a GPS-­only service for the development and testing of applications.

QZSS Will Grow to Four. The Japanese government has ordered three navigation satellites from Mitsubishi Electric Corp. to expand the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System, currently orbiting the sole Michibiki. QZSS augments GPS navigation signals for users in the Asia-Pacific region. NEC Corporation has been awarded a contract for the QZSS ground control segment.

Real-Time PPP with Galileo. Fugro Seastar AS achieved this task within a week of all four Galileo satellites being activated. Fugro is now generating Galileo orbit and clock corrections, which can be used in conjunction with the Fugro G2 decimeter-level corrections associated with its GPS/GLONASS PPP service.

BeiDou Ground System Approved. The BeiDou Ground-Based Enhancement System (BGBES), a network of 30 ground stations, an operating system, and a precision positioning system, was approved by a Chinese government evaluation committee. The system is expected to improve BDS positioning accuracy to 2 centimeters horizontal and 5 centimeters vertical via tri-band real-time precision positioning technology, and to 1.5 meters with single-frequency differential navigation technology.

CNAV Test on GPS L2C and L5. The U.S. Air Force Space Command announced that CNAV capabilities on the GPS L2C and L5 signals will be tested in June. The civilian navigation message to be carried by modernized GPS will have similar data to the existing NAV message, but its structure will be different, with increased message bandwidth for greater information density. L2C and L5 users and receiver manufacturers are encouraged to review the test plan, provide comments, and participate in the evaluation process.

GPS at the Smithsonian. Brad Parkinson’s presentation, “GPS for Humanity — The Stealth Utility,” is now available as video on UStream.The talk helped introduce the new Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum exhibit, “Time and Navigation: The Untold Story of Getting from Here to There,” which is now open and free to the public in Washington, D.C.

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About the Author:

Alan Cameron is editor-in-chief and publisher of GPS World magazine, where he has worked since 2000. He also writes the monthly GNSS Design & Test e-Newsletter and the Wide Awake blog.

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