The basic precept of international GNSS is that public services will be available to all users without user charges or other fees. Separately, each system can transmit unique highly classified frequencies–such as the military codes used by the U.S.’s GPS, Russia’s Glonass, China’s Compass and the fee-paying civil applications for enhanced accuracy and integrity signals from Europe’s Galileo–but none affects public services.
Satellite navigation systems
Russian deputy prime minister Vladislav Surkov, whose responsibilities in the government include supervision of the country’s Glonass satellite-based navigation system, aims to require that all aircraft–even foreign-registered ones–flying in Russian airspace use the Glonass satellite-based navigation system. He was speaking at the Glonass Forum 2012, held in Moscow late last month.
Just when it seemed the LightSquared-GPS contest had run its course, a pair of latecomers–Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.)–wrote to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski proposing that the agency should now find a vacant block of radio spectrum in which LightSquared could launch another attempt at its nationwide Internet plan.
Blue Sky Network formed a partnership today with S4A (Solutions For Aviation), a supplier of aviation equipment and services based in El Puerto de Santa María, Spain. This new partnership will enable S4A to sell Blue Sky Network’s line of aviation products based on two-way messaging, voice and Iridium-based satellite tracking technology in Europe. When combined with SkyRouter, a secure cloud-based global mapping portal solution, Blue Sky Network’s two-way messaging transceivers allow constant and remote monitoring of aircraft through GPS position reports.
Today, most of us would probably rate cellphones, ATMs and the Internet as the three most useful modern gadgets we use regularly. We likely wouldn’t rank GPS up there, and maybe not even in the top 10. Yet without GPS, those three wouldn’t work too well, if at all, and neither would a host of other things that we depend on (reliable electrical power; banking systems; national and worldwide telecommunications, including air traffic control; and car navigation, to name a few). And with NextGen slowly approaching, aviation’s dependence on GPS will grow exponentially.
Despite last month’s conclusion by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a joint panel of nine federal agencies, that LightSquared’s plan for a 4G broadband system could not coexist with GPS and should therefore be folded by March 2, the company appealed to the FCC for a 30-day extension to prove its concept is still valid.
Auburn University has selected Southeast Aerospace, of Melbourne, Fla., to develop an ADS-B STC for the Cessna 172S, which will also include an approved model list (AML) STC for ADS-B installations in a variety of similar aircraft models. The Auburn installation includes FreeFlight’s Rangr ADS-B out system, which is a 978 MHz UAT (universal access transceiver) solution. The system includes the FreeFlight FDL-978-TX Rangr UAT, TC-987 control head, RF decoder, 1201 GPS/Waas receiver, two L-band antennas and a GPS/Waas antenna.
Despite rising jubilation among the GPS community in the middle of last month that LightSquared had at last met its comeuppance, the would-be nationwide wireless broadband provider was not dead yet as this issue went to press. With its technical arguments virtually exhausted, LightSquared entered into a “Pleading Cycle” at the FCC on January 27, using what is likely its only lifeline.
LightSquared’s planned nationwide 4G broadband network got yet another reprieve from Sprint today. Last year, Sprint agreed to provide $15 billion to LightSquared for infrastructure needs, with one condition: LightSquared must obtain FCC approval by Dec. 31, 2011. The FCC didn’t come through–saying LightSquared has yet to prove its transmissions will not interfere with GPS signals–but last month Sprint extended its offer until the end of this month. And with barely 12 hours to spare, Sprint again extended this until mid-March.
“It is the unanimous conclusion of the test findings by the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Executive Committee (ExCom) agencies that both LightSquared’s original and modified plans for its proposed mobile network would cause harmful interference to many GPS receivers,” the committee wrote in a letter sent to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on Friday. The PNT ExCom–composed of nine U.S.