After LightSquared made statements that it has a “legal right” to build a network of terrestrial 4G broadband transmitters in the U.S., the Coalition to Save Our GPS last Thursday stepped up its attack of the company’s plans.
At Helitech 2011, Blue Sky Network (BSN) exhibited a renewed line of tracking devices that can help flight dispatchers to know, in real-time, where their fleet’s helicopters are. Through the SkyRouter web portal, they can receive regular updates on the aircraft’s altitude, heading and location, explained hardware engineer Steve Larson.
Clearly impatient with the way the company’s plan for its nationwide broadband Internet project is becoming further and further delayed by opposition from the GPS user community, several federal government departments, members of Congress and, reportedly, within the FCC bureaucracy itself, a LightSquared
L-3 Unmanned Systems of Dallas has completed a series of capability enhancements to its Viking 400 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) supplied to the U.S. Special Operations Command under a 2009 contract. Added under the Block 1A upgrade are a new electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turret and digital datalink.
The Coalition to ‘Save Our GPS,’ through vice president and general counsel Jim Kirkland of founding member Trimble, has responded to claims by LightSquared, which is seeking approval for a terrestrial broadband communication service in a frequency spectrum very close to that of GPS.
Thrane & Thrane recently introduced its Aviator wireless handset, a device designed to work with the Danish satcom specialist’s Aviator SwiftBroadband system. The pairing allows users to receive in-flight calls, so pilots can contact the ground and passengers can make personal and business calls.
Low-powered incoming GPS signals are allocated 1559-1610 MHz in the L-Band radio spectrum. The neighboring spectrum–from 1525-1559 Mhz–is allocated to other, equally low-powered, incoming satellite signals, such as Sky Terra’s. GPS receivers are open to signals above the blue line shown, but filter out signals below it, and require modification to accept Glonass.
Following extensive reports of GPS interference, LightSquared announced last week that it would vacate its L-Band frequency adjacent to GPS and move to one further away to greatly reduce, but not eliminate, interference with satnav signals.
Northrop Grumman officials during a Paris Air Show briefing reported that the first Block 40 Global Hawk high-altitude UAV for the U.S. Air Force is scheduled to make its first flight this week equipped with the Northrop Grumman/Raytheon radar technology insertion program (RTIP) sensor.
Thales is “five years ahead of anybody in Europe or the U.S.” in active arrays for airborne radars, according to Jean-Nöel Stock, Thales vice-president UAVs and intelligence, and a former program director for Dassault Rafale airborne systems.