On the heels of statements of dissatisfaction by senior U.S. Air Force officials about the current delay of more than two years in producing the critical Mission Data Unit (MDU) of the DOD’s future GPS III satellite program, the USAF issued a Sources Sought ultimatum to GPS III contractor Lockheed Martin and its subcontractor Excelis. Such a declaration–essentially advising the contractor to improve performance and indicating that the agency is investigating other sources for the work–was a bombshell event for the aerospace community.
This summer will see significant progress in the world’s first civilian-owned and -operated satellite navigation system as Europe prepares to dispatch the first two full-capability Galileo satellites for lift-off.
Payload preparation for Arianespace’s Soyuz Flight VS09 started in earnest in early May with the arrival in French Guiana of the first two Galileo full operational capability (FOC) satellites.
Rockwell Collins’s flight management system (FMS) and global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receiver successfully enabled the first demonstrations of advanced arrival and departure flight operations for the European Union’s airspace-enhancing project called FilGapp (“filling the gap” in GNSS advanced procedures and operations), the company announced today. FilGapp is intended to create new, more efficient methods of navigating airspace using satellite-based navigation and advanced FMS functions.
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.”
The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) provides clear benefits to the business aviation sector. With many business aircraft not specifically catered to by current air traffic management systems, more often than not they find themselves shut out of many key airports.
This is particularly true as Europe’s skies continue to become more and more crowded. As air traffic continues to grow, smaller airports must make themselves accessible at all times–something that cannot be done when relying solely on nonprecision approaches.
It’s been three months since Sikorsky announced that its S-92 rig approach system has gone into operation in the Gulf of Mexico with oil and gas transport provider PHI, and here at the show, the airframer is providing demonstrations of the safety enhancement.
NobileSoft, a software company created by a helicopter pilot, has joined forces with independent research company Sintef to bring to market a new GPS-based powerline warning system for low-flying aircraft. Collisions often occur when aircraft fly at low levels on power- or pipeline patrols.
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.
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.
The Aeronautical Information Manual’s (AIM) Change Two takes effect on March 7 and includes a number of updates. One describes the requirements for two independent navigation systems. It also clarifies the application of different technical standard orders and updates the guidance for standalone GPS approaches. The update adds guidance for using “T-Routes” and “Q-Routes,” as well as the ground based augmentation system (Gbas).
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