While the Iranian capture of the Sentinel caught public attention, it also allowed researchers to show that spoofing technology has been, and continues to be, closely investigated by a number of military and civilian facilities in the United States.
Command and control
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.
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.
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.
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.
On Tuesday the FCC rejected LightSquared’s plans for a 4G broadband network in the L-band frequency, following a final recommendation by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is a joint panel consisting of nine federal agencies.
One of the supreme ironies of the ongoing LightSquared saga is that the company’s efforts to promote its nationwide email initiative are not helped when emails about its own activities, written by U.S. government bureaucrats, become public under Freedom of Information legislation.
Recent tests “did show that LightSquared signals caused harmful interference to the majority of other tested general-purpose GPS receivers,” according to a statement issued yesterday by Anthony Russo, director of the National Coordination Office, on behalf of the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing.
Draft data covering recent DOD and FAA tests of cellphones and other consumer GPS devices revealed that 75 percent “experienced harmful interference” when within 100 meters of a LightSquared base station, according to a report in Bloomberg News on December 9.
LightSquared is coming under pressure from several separate directions, as opponents to its plans provide more specific support to their positions on legal, financial and technical issues. And in the background, a telecom industry heavyweight with whom LightSquared hopes to form an alliance wants clarity by year-end.
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