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.
Harbinger Capital Partners and other entities associated with the LightSquared high-speed wireless Internet access system have filed a lawsuit against Deere & Company, Garmin International, Trimble Navigation, The U.S. GPS Industry Council and The Coalition to Save Our GPS.
After only four years in Brazil, Blue Sky Network, which offers satellite tracking of and communication with vehicles operating in the air, on land and at sea, has built up a sizable client base, including the Líder fleet that serves Petrobras, the Helisul air taxi operator and energy exploration company HRT. Here at LABACE show-goers can see how Blue Sky’s New SkyRouter and other systems work at the company’s display in the exhibition hangar (Stand 5020).
Harbinger Capital Partners and other entities associated with the failed LightSquared 4G broadband network filed a lawsuit against Deere & Co., Garmin, Trimble Navigation, The U.S. GPS Industry Council and The Coalition to Save Our GPS. The lawsuit claims that the defendants failed to disclose information about GPS interference problems caused by an adjacent frequency spectrum that LightSquared was allocated to use and seeks $1.9 billion in damages.
Horizon Air has received FAA approval to fly instrument approaches to required navigation performance (RNP) 0.1 standards in its Bombardier Q400s equipped with Universal Avionics UNS-1Ew flight management systems. The UNS-1Ew Waas/SBAS FMS enables Horizon pilots to fly stable 3-D flight paths to touchdown at airports in the Northwest U.S. that have published RNP approaches, but now to lower RNP 0.1 minimums. Compared to traditional but non-RNP approaches, the RNP approaches have been shown to save time and fuel.
South Korea has been subject to annual GPS jamming attacks by its North Korean neighbor since 2010. Over that period, jamming has extended over longer periods, with the longest being a continuous 16-day attack, employing various frequencies, techniques and signal strengths. As the jamming periods increased each year, they affected more and more GPS users. Last year, South Korean officials estimated that 1,016 aircraft lost GPS signals, as did 254 ships and a large number of cellphone towers.
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.
German light sport aircraft manufacturer Flight Design selected Garmin avionics for its new normal-category aircraft, the C4, a four-place composite single-engine aircraft. The new Garmin suite will feature angle of attack, dual air data heading reference system, synthetic vision and integrated autopilot with one-touch leveling.
The C4 features the Continental IO-360AF alternate fuels engine and an integrated full aircraft parachute system. The C4 will have a 1,200 nm range and a useful load of 1,320 pounds.
Mercy One helicopter emergency medical services at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, one of the first HEMS operators certified to fly Waas low-level IFR routes, including approaches to local hospitals, recently added a second Waas-capable Bell 429 to its fleet. These IFR routes keep helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft from mixing in IFR airspace. Three of the hospital helipad approaches are Waas-based while another is an approach to a helipad in Stuart, Iowa, that is used as a rendezvous for helicopters and ground ambulances from surrounding counties.
Garmin has added terrain and obstacle overlays to its Garmin Pilot iPad app (Version 5.1), bringing the app one step closer to matching the full capabilities of the company’s portable GPS navigation devices.