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.
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.
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.
The Coalition to Save Our GPS sent a letter today to the FCC asking the agency to “promptly rule” that LightSquared be barred from using the upper mobile satellite spectrum (MSS) band for high-powered terrestrial operations.
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.
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
To the puzzlement of the GPS community and independent radio propagation experts, the FCC ruled on September 13 that LightSquared should conduct further tests of its signal transmissions on its alternate, lower L-band frequency farther removed from the GPS frequency. Tests on a LightSquared frequency closer to GPS earlier this year produced extreme interference.