December 2011

Newly Signed Appropiations Measure Adds Layer of Political Protection for GPS

[SIGNALS exclusive] When President Obama signed the $1-trillion federal appropriations bill just before Christmas, he also inked into law a provision further protecting GPS receivers from interference from the wireless network proposed by LightSquared. (more)

China Publishes Compass/BeiDou 'Test Version' of ICD

China released a long-awaited "test version" interface control document (ICD) for its Compass (BeiDou-2) GNSS system December 27. The 11-page publication covers its open B1 civil signal centered at 1561.098 MHz. (more)

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LightSquared Dominates GNSS News during 2011

Based on readership of news articles, 2011 was the year of LightSquared. Articles about the would-be wireless broadband company that wants FCC approval to set up a terrestrial network transmitting on frequencies next door to GPS and other GNSS L1 signals garnered the most page views on our website for 6 out of 12 months. Only such matters as Wikileaks, a Supreme Court case, the Compass/BeiDou ICD, or Galileo's first IOV launch could break the spell of the continuing LightSquared vs. GPS saga. We reprise those popular news items below.  

OHB-System Disclaims Wikileaks Report of CEO Comments on Galileo

January 16, 2011 - OHB-System AG, builder of Galileo navigation satellites, has issued a statement from its chairman denying a WikiLeaks report that the German company's CEO had told U.S. embassy officials that the European GNSS program was a "stupid idea" and "a waste of EU tax payers money. (more)

GPS/GNSS Community Feels New Telecom Interference Threat from LightSquared

January 30, 2011 - In his State of the Union address on January 25, President Obama held up the Global Positioning System as a prime example of government providing "cutting-edge scientists and inventors with the support that they need" to create world-leading, job-creating innovation. (more)

LightSquared GPS Working Group Sends FCC Its First Report on Interference Assessment

March 16, 2011 - Yesterday a working group mandated by the FCC waiver to address the potential LightSquared/GPS interference issue delivered its first monthly report required by the FCC. (more)

U.S. Department of Justice Seeks Supreme Court Review of GPS Surveillance Issue

April 16, 2011 - On April 15, 2011 the Obama administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the question of whether prolonged police surveillance using GNSS-aided tracking of a suspect requires a search warrant under the provisions of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. (more)

Air Traffic Control Modernization: FAA, NextGen, GNSS, and Avionics Equipage

April 30, 2011 - In between partisan confrontations around the 2011 federal budget and raising the U.S. debt limit, prospects are improving for federal legislation that would provide the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with a regular full-year budget for the first time since Fiscal Year 2007 - including support for completing the transition to a GNSS-driven air traffic control (ATC) system known as NextGen and a "public-private partnership" to equip aircraft with the needed avionics. (more)

Test Results: LightSquared Would Cause Serious Interference to GPS Receivers

May 28, 2011 - Tests of GPS receiver vulnerability to transmissions from terrestrial base stations in the proposed LightSquared 4G/LTE broadband service were scheduled to wrap up on May 27, but results as we post this message clearly indicate substantial adverse effects on GPS user equipment. (more)

LightSquared GPS Interference Report and Recommendation to FCC Fuels the Fight

July 1, 2011 - LightSquared submitted a 318-page report to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) yesterday on the months-long effort of a technical working group (TWG) to investigate the effects of the would-be cellular broadband company's terrestrial transmitters on GPS receivers operating in an adjacent RF band. (more)

GPS Interference Test Results May Not Slow FCC Decision on LightSquared Deal

July 29, 2011 - Having apparently exhausted themselves debating a subject that a majority of Americans considered a non-priority - raising the debt ceiling - the U.S. Congress adjourned for summer recess on August 1, automatically cancelling two House hearings (discussed later in this article) that had been scheduled on the LightSquared/GPS interference issue. (more)

LightSquared Would Jam GPS, Defense Officials Tell Congress

September 15, 2011 - Amidst a storm of political controversy and the conspicuous absence of a key administration witness, Department of Defense (DoD) officials told members of Congress today that a proposed broadband wireless service would degrade or render useless billions of dollars of equipment essential to military operations. (more)

Galileo: At Long Last, Launch

October 14, 2011 - Launch of two Galileo in-orbit validation (IOV) satellites next week will bring Europe's long-awaited (and much-delayed) GNSS program into a new phase. (more)

GPS Timing Used in Experiment to Measure 'Faster Than Light' Particles

November 17, 2011 - No sooner had GPS positioning helped validate key aspects of Einstein's general theory of relativity in the Gravity Probe-B program than GPS timing has been cited as helping bring his special theory of relativity into doubt. (more)

China launches 10th Compass Beidou-2 Navigation Satellite into Geosynchronous Orbit

December 2, 2011 - China launched its 10th Compass/ BeiDou-2 GNSS satellite this morning. This is the third Compass satellite launched this year and the fifth placed into an inclined geosynchronous orbit. (more)

So, here's to a LightSquared-free 2012 and heartfelt wishes for GNSS harmony in the new year.
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