So, first, who needs three more worldwide satnav systems, when we already have GPS? Why do these others want to spend billions just to keep up with the U.S.? There are two reasons: one political and the other practical. Politically, GPS has become a (not the) dominant technology in almost every part of human life around the world, in government, national security, industry and private life, with more than a billion receivers being used daily for thousands of applications, from simple to critical.
Global Positioning System
In its latest surprise move, would-be broadband provider LightSquared has morphed from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, with just a few months to find some closure with its creditors, to having an arrangement with them to allow it to continue in business and spend up to $190 million to fund its operations until September next year.
But this doesn’t mean the company will close down, fire all its employees and have a big, yard-sale type auction of all its possessions. Far from it. Chapter 11 is a useful process for companies in financial difficulties, in that it gives them protection from creditors while they seek ways to get things back to a reasonably normal state. And that recovery process can take several months, during which time the company’s management remains in exclusive control to take whatever actions it wishes before requesting its emergence from Chapter 11.
Jamming of GPS signals by North Korea may have contributed to the fatal crash of a Schiebel S-100 Camcopter UAV near Incheon, South Korea, on May 10. The small helicopter crashed into its ground control van, killing a Schiebel engineer and injuring the two remote pilots, both Koreans. The jamming started on April 28 and disrupted passenger flights into Seoul’s two airports, Kimpo and Incheon. South Korean government officials told local media that the jamming originated from the border town of Kaesong.
The market for inexpensive portable ADS-B receivers that deliver free in-flight data to Apple iPads and other devices is heating up. Boston-based Radenna pioneered this market with the original SkyRadar unit, which communicates wirelessly with the iPad, providing a means to receive free in-flight weather and traffic data from the growing ADS-B ground station network.
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.
Thales will provide its high-performance inertial reference system (HPIRS) and GPS to support all-weather operations by the new Embraer KC-390 military transport. The French avionics manufacturer described the new-generation HPIRS as a “technological breakthrough” in inertial and GPS navigation, combining advantages of a civil-certified product with the performance required for a military aircraft. It is the company’s first HPIRS contract for a military transport aircraft.
LightSquared filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, explaining that it needs “breathing room” to resolve regulatory issues that have prevented it from building its planned 4G broadband wireless network.
Northrop Grumman (Stand 2321) announced here at EBACE that Cessna has chosen its navigation systems for the Citation Latitude business jet. One selection is the LCR-100 attitude and heading reference system, which uses both inertial navigation and GPS information.
DAC International (Stand 1131) has introduced the GDC64 tablet-to-aircraft interface, a small box that delivers aircraft data to devices such as the iPad and Android tablet computers and provides iPad battery charging. The GDC64 will be approved for Part 25 aircraft and can accept up to four Arinc 429 inputs, eight other discrete data inputs and serial data from a weather receiver.