The media jumped on a May 13 report that Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin had threatened that unless the U.S. allows Russia to install a ground station in the U.S. to monitor signals from its GPS-like Glonass satnav system, Russia would retaliate and “suspend the operation of U.S. GPS ground stations in Russia.”
A recent New York Times article described a Russian request to the State Department to approve U.S. locations for one or more terrestrial signal monitors for Russia’s Glonass satellite navigation system, similar to America’s GPS, suggesting the request could have worrisome consequences.
According to the article, “The CIA and other American spy agencies, as well as the Pentagon, suspect that the monitor stations would give the Russians a foothold on American territory that would sharpen the accuracy of Moscow’s satellite-steered weapons.”
GPS Source, a manufacturer of indoor GPS receivers, released its GLI-Metro-G system, which provides a variety of GPS signal types and control over effective radiated power (ERP) levels. GLI-Metro-G can receive GPS L1/L2 and Glonass L1/L2 signals, and users can select both GPS and Glonass or each type individually. An antenna must be mounted on the outside of the building to pass the signals through to the receiver. GLI-Metro-G will also accept Galileo signals when that system becomes operative, as well as those from other future GPS-type systems.
Garmin released software updates yesterday for GLO, a remote GPS/Glonass sensor for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, that adds new capabilities. Originally, GLO could provide accurate GPS data to one device via Bluetooth. With the latest software update, GLO can connect via Bluetooth with up to four devices simultaneously. A few changes have also been made to the functionality of the power button, which will now reduce the likelihood of GLO inadvertently turning on when stored in a flight bag.
Blue Sky Network’s portable HawkEyeLink Bluetooth interface is now able to transmit electronic forms such as a flight plan, a passenger manifest or a maintenance request. HawkEyeLink enables Blue Sky Network’s D1000 Iridium/GSM transceiver (originally designed for the operator to track its helicopters) to connect to iOS devices (iPhone and iPad). The new capability allows users to download forms to the iOS device at the operator’s base via Wi-Fi, and then complete and transmit them in flight.
When representatives from every world nation and every civil aviation organization gather at the triennial ICAO Assembly, topics on the agenda include current progress and issues as well as future challenges and potential solutions.
Blue Sky Network (Booth No. C13021) is featuring its new HawkEye 7200 portable “multi-national” satellite tracking unit, which also supports Iridium satellite communications for mobile devices.
A surface-to-air version of the Vympel R-77 AAM was displayed at the recent MAKS 2013 Moscow Air Show. The SAM system was developed jointly by Almaz-Antei and Tactical Missile Corp. (Russian acronym TRV). Housed in a container weighing 360 pounds, the weapon has a firing range greater than 10 miles and a ceiling of more than 30,000 feet. “A number of foreign customers have repeatedly asked us for this application of the missile,” said Boris Obnosov, TRV general director.
After several years of anticipation, the planned earth-girdling network of five global navigation satellite system (GNSS) constellations is taking tangible form in space. Two of them–America’s GPS and Russia’s Glonass–are already fully operational. Glonass reached that goal in 2009, joining the pioneering GPS, which achieved that status in the 1980s.
With the continuing strains on the U.S. national budget and the possibility that the Administration’s sequestration program could last for several more years, Pentagon planners are said to be worrying that the costs of the future GPS III system could become out of reach, despite its major advances and the need to have modernized replacement satellites ready to be deployed as the orbital lives of current satellites end.
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