The System: Galileo Turning Ten

September 30, 2015By

Galileo satellites 9 and 10 are functioning perfectly, and the initial series of flight operations is continuing as part of the critical launch and early orbit phase, according to a European Space Agency Rocket Science blog by Daniel Scuka, senior editor for Spacecraft Operations at ESOC, ESA’s European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany. Galileo 9 and 10 lifted off together... read more

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Tim Tebow, GPS, Space Acquisition, 60 Minutes and the GAO

May 13, 2015By

The U.S. government acquisition cadre seems to have a problem when it comes to recognizing the critical importance of small businesses. Sometimes the government fails to realize the true potential and the true domain expertise provided by small expert companies. Problems typically come about because both the government and the prime contractors lose sight of why the small, domain expert company is on the team in the first place. And yes, a lesson can be learned from Tim Tebow. read more

The System: Ground Control Readied for GPS III

October 1, 2013By

Raytheon Company reached several milestones recently in its development of the GPS Next -Generation Operational Control System (GPS OCX). Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Non-flight Satellite Testbed (GNST) — a full-sized, functional satellite prototype currently residing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station — successfully established remote connectivity and communicated with OCX during pre-flight tests. GNST proved that it could connect with... read more

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Air Force to Respond to GAO Report on GPS

September 24, 2010By

Global Positioning System experts from Air Force Space Command and the Space and Missile Systems Center will hold a media roundtable teleconference tomorrow, September 24, at 2:30 p.m. Mountain Time (4:30 p.m. Eastern Time) to discuss the recent GAO report titled “Global Positioning System: Challenges in Sustaining and Upgrading Capabilities Persist.” Colonel David Buckman, AFSPC command lead for positioning, navigation and timing, and Colonel Bernard Gruber, commander of the Global Positioning System Wing at Los Angeles Air Force Base, will participate in the teleconference. read more

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Out in Front: What’s in a Number?

April 1, 2010By

Computers killed a trusty companion of my teenage years. That is, after those proto-computers known as pocket calculators knocked him out and left him unconscious on the cooling floor. But I come to praise my slide rule, not to bury him. With computers, it’s just numbers in, numbers out. Maybe that high-tech approach led both the GPS Wing and the Government Accountability Office into trouble with constellation gaps. read more

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GPS Gaps Closing Up; West Coast Launches Aired

March 30, 2010By

The U.S. General Accountability Office is revising its April 2009 report that forecast future gaps in GPS constellation availability, now using a more optimistic model of satellite lifetimes that is borne out by recent performance. The undersecretary of the Air Force for space has reportedly said the service is looking at some future GPS launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the West Coast. read more

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GPS at Risk: Doomsday 2010

May 12, 2009By

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued on May 7 an alarming report on the future of GPS, characterizing ongoing modernization efforts as shaky. The agency appears to single out the IIF program as the weak link between current stability and ensured future capability, calling into doubt whether the Air Force will be able to acquire new satellites in time to maintain current GPS service without interruption. It asserts the very real possibility that in 2010, as old satellites begin to fail, the overall GPS constellation will fall below the number of satellites required to provide the level of GPS service that the U.S. government commits to." read more