June 2011 Meeting Summary

Col Jon M. Anderson spoke to the Southern California Section about Military GPS User Equipment on Thursday, 23 June, 2011 at NavCom Technology. There were 26 in attendance. A brief bio and abstract of the talk follows, and the slides used during the meeting are attached.

Capsule Biography of Col Anderson
Col Jon M. Anderson is the Chief, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) User Equipment Division, Global Positioning Systems Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California.  He is responsible for leading over 299 military, civilian and contractor personnel executing three development contracts valued at over $300 million and establishing the follow-on development and production program valued at $1.1 billion.

Col Anderson entered the Air Force in 1988 after graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in Electrical Engineering.  He has a broad Air Force background with experience in missile operations, technical intelligence analysis, systems engineering, operational test support, national and international space policy, and program management.

1988     B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Kansas
1994     M.S. Electrical Engineering, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
2001     Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology
2008     M.A. National Security & Strategic Studies, Naval War College

Abstract of Col Anderson’s Presentation:
Slides: Military GPS User Equipment
Col Anderson is the Chief of the GPS User Equipment Division. His presentation will address the Military GPS User Equipment Program (MGUE), including recent accomplishments, modernized user equipment capabilities, MGUE architecture and the new MGUE business approach. Program schedules, the Common GPS Module (CGM) vision, key challenges and Increment 2 (CGM) Technology Maturation planning will be described. Many applications will be addressed.


April 2011 Meeting Summary

Mr. Arvind Ramanandan spoke to the Southern California Section about Sensor Aided Inertial Navigation on Thursday, 28 April, 2011 at NavCom Technology. There were 20 in attendance. A brief bio and abstract of the talk follows, and the slides used during the meeting are attached.

Capsule Biography of Arvind Ramanandan 
Arvind Ramanandan is a PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering at UC-Riverside. He received his Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics and Communications from Anna University, Chennai, India. His research interests include sensor-aided inertial navigation, sensor integration, high accuracy roadway mapping, SLAM methods in mapping and navigation, near-real-time estimation and non-GNSS aiding techniques.

Abstract of Mr. Ramanandan’s Talk:
Slides: Sensor Aided Inertial Navigation
The advent of low cost and smaller size MEMS- based inertial sensors has led to their increased presence in low cost consumer devices. These factors have enabled numerous positioning- based applications (e.g. automotive guidance, routing).

The central theme of his research has been improving accuracy and reliability for auxiliary sensor-aided inertial navigation. The limitations of inertial sensors are well known, e.g. potentially unbounded error growth. These limitations have motivated the need for independent, high-accuracy aiding sensors. In this presentation, he will discuss results from tight integration of inertial navigation systems with positioning sensors such as GPS, feature-based sensors such as vision LIDAR and stationary updates. He will also discuss the use of a near-real-time estimation process which is based upon fixed interval smoothing, to evaluate the effectiveness of the aiding sensors.


March 2011 Meeting Summary

Tom Stansell gave a talk entitled LightSquared and the FCC Threaten GPS to the Southern California Section on Mar. 17, 2011, 2010 at NavCom Technology. There were more than 40 in attendance. A brief bio and abstract of the talk follows, and the slides used during the meeting are attached.

Capsule Biography of Tom Stansell:
Tom Stansell heads Stansell Consulting. He spent 8 years with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, 25 years with Magnavox (Staff VP), and 5 years with Leica Geosystems (VP). In those roles he pioneered Transit and GPS navigation and survey products.

He has served on the WAAS Independent Review Board (2000); led technical development of the GPS L2C signal (2001); and coordinated the GPS L1C project (2004 – 2006). He is a member of International Compatibility and Interoperability Working Groups and supports ICG activities for the U.S. State Department.

Awards and Honors:
ION Awards: Weems Award (1996), Fellow (1999), Kershner (PLANS-2000), GPS JPO Navstar Award (2002), and Johannes Kepler (2003).

Tom was technical chair (’84, ’86, and ’88) and general chair (’94, ’96, and ’98) of PLANS conferences, technical chair of ION GPS-91, and general chair of ION GPS-92. He is a past ION Western Regional VP.

Abstract of Tom Stansell’s Talk:
Slides: LightSquared and the FCC Threaten GPS
The GPS community is deeply concerned by the LightSquared proposal to transmit high power signals from about 40,000 cell “towers” across the entire U.S. in the frequency band immediately below GPS L1. The threat to GPS is real because the FCC is “fast tracking” its approval as a way to expedite the government’s objective of significantly expanding wireless broadband access. The presentation will trace the origins of the LightSquared proposal, show why it is a major threat to GPS, describe the actions being taken by the GPS community, and suggest ways you can help.

February 2011 Meeting Summary

Col. Bernie J. Gruber of the GPS Directorate spoke to the Southern California Section of the ION on February 22, 2011 on the status and future plans for the GPS system. His talk was followed by a lively question and answer session. Attendance was 42. A brief bio of Col. Gruber follows, and the slides used during the meeting are attached.

Capsule Biography of Col Bernie J. Gruber:
Colonel Bernie J. Gruber is Commander of the GPS Directorate (formerly known as the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. He is responsible for a multiservice, multinational systems organization which conducts development, acquisition, fielding and sustainment of all GPS space segment, satellite command and control (ground) and military user equipment. The $32B GPS program, with a $1B annual budget, maintains the largest satellite constellation and the largest avionics integration and installation program in the Department of Defense.

Colonel Gruber earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from North Dakota State University and was commissioned in 1986. He is a graduate of Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, Air War College, Defense Systems Management College and the Joint Forces Staff College; he has commanded at the Squadron and Group levels. He is a member of the Acquisition Corps, a certified Joint Specialty Officer and National Defense Fellow alumnus. Colonel Gruber has distinguished himself in a variety of leadership positions within the operations, intelligence, launch, engineering, and acquisition disciplines, and has served in key positions at Major Command, Air Staff, Joint Staff and Defense Agency levels. Prior to assuming his current position, Colonel Gruber was Chief, Space Superiority and Global Integrated Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division, Directorate of Programs, Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategic Plans and Programs, Headquarters, United States Air Force, Washington, D.C.

Slides: Status and future plans for the GPS system

January 2011 Meeting Summary

Col Gaylord Green spoke to the Southern California Section about Gravity Probe B on Jan. 27, 2011, 2010 at NavCom Technology. There were more than 40 in attendance. A brief bio and abstract of the talk follows, and the slides used during the meeting are attached.

Capsule Biography of Col Gaylord Green (USAF Ret):
Col Green is the President of NavAstro, a company engaged in space experiments with Stanford University and in GPS III developments. Col. Green is a Past President of the ION and a winner of the Hays award. He was also a Director of the GPS Joint Program Office and earlier was the Space Segment Chief, as well as having done much of the systems engineering in the beginning. He directed the Gravity Probe B program for Stanford University from 1989 until 2007. He continues to be a member of the Independent Review Team for GPS and a member of the Independent Assessment Team for the GPS Wing. He is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and has an M.S. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford. Col. Green holds many awards and honors for his work and leadership in GPS and ballistic missile technology.

Abstract of Col. Green’s Talk:
Slides: Gravity Probe B
The Gravity Probe B (GP-B) program tested two distinct effects of General Relativity: The Geodetic Effect and Frame-Dragging. General relativity holds that a massive body like the Earth warps the space-time around it, creating the geodetic effect. Frame-dragging is the predicted effect that occurs when a rotating body spins on its axis, “dragging” the space-time around it. GP-B tested the two predicted effects of general relativity: the geodetic effect and frame-dragging.

The experiment necessary to determine this must measure minute changes in the spin direction of a set of extremely precise gyroscopes placed in a polar orbit 400 miles above the Earth. The GP-B experiment required one of the most sophisticated spacecraft designs ever utilized for a NASA mission. For many less complex science missions, the spacecraft bus (i.e., the spacecraft without its instruments or electronics) serves essentially as a vehicle to transport and house the instruments. With GP-B, though, the experiments required such a degree of exactitude that the spacecraft itself played an active part in the functioning of the instruments.

GP-B employed the world’s most precise gyroscopes, spinning in a vacuum that insulated them from the effects of any external forces. The gyro’s rotors were the most spherical objects ever produced, rotating at high speed in tight casings that they could not touch. The maintenance of a perfectly drag-free environment required the spacecraft to use micro-thrusters to make constant minute adjustments in its position in order to keep the gyros perfectly in place.

GP-B’s management structure was unique among NASA programs and projects. In 1985 NASA had designated Stanford University as the prime contractor for the spacecraft, giving Stanford full program management responsibility. Lockheed Martin was awarded the subcontract to supply the spacecraft as well as some components of the payload, and it reported directly to Stanford, not NASA. This arrangement, which was dubbed “The Management Experiment” by NASA Administrator James M. Beggs at the time, remained in place until 1998, when NASA decided to take a more hands-on approach.

Col Green will cover both the complex engineering and the scientific aspects of this unprecedented program which has contributed so much to our knowledge of basic physics and cosmology.

November 2010 Meeting Summary

Dr. Kent Tobiska spoke to the Southern California Section about Space Weather on Nov. 17, 2010 at NavCom Technology. There were 29 in attendance. A brief bio and abstract of the talk follows, and the slides used during the meeting are attached.

Capsule Biography of Dr. W. Kent Tobiska:
Dr. Tobiska is the President and Chief Scientist of Space Environment Technologies (SET) and Director of the Utah State University Space Weather Center (SWC). His long-term research focus has been the analysis of solar XUV to FUV data that has led to the creation of an internationally distributed hybrid solar irradiance platform (SIP). He invented the world’s first operational computer code for solar irradiance forecast while serving as a senior scientist at Northrop Grumman/Logicon. At SET, he extended this expertise into operational space weather systems as PI on the SET solar operational system, the NOAA/SWPC solar irradiance CRADA, the AF SBIR for an operational ionosphere forecast system, and the communication alert and prediction system (CAPS). At SWC, he has led the effort to enable space weather systems to become operational information layers in broader technology systems. Through his career at NOAA Space Environment Laboratory, UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Northrop Grumman, SET, and UCSW, he has been a USAF and a NASA LWS, SOHO, JSDAP, and UARS Principal Investigator (PI), a Co-Investigator (Co-I) on NASA TIMED, Galileo, and ESA component of the International Space Station (ISS) SOL-ACES instruments. He is the COSPAR C1 Sub-Commission (Thermosphere & Ionosphere) Chair, the COSPAR International Reference Atmosphere (CIRA) Task Force Vice-Chair, and is a Session Organizer for 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 COSPAR scientific sessions. He serves as lead U.S. delegate to ISO for the space environment and developed the ISO solar irradiance standard; he is the AIAA Atmospheric and Space Environment Technical Committee (ASETC) Committee on Standards (CoS) chair. He has authored/co-authored over 80 peer-review scientific papers as well as 8 books and major technical publications. Dr. Tobiska is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a member of American Geophysical Union, Committee On Space Research, and American Meteorological Society.

Abstract of Dr. Tobiska’s Talk:
Slides: Space Weather
During the past decade and a half, the U.S. National Space Weather Program has enabled the development and coupling of models and data streams that now make operational space weather a reality. Space weather is the dynamic effect of the Sun’s photons, charged particles, and fields upon our near-Earth environment and our technological systems. Navigation and geo-location use GPS and this is one such system affected by space weather when solar flares and coronal mass ejections cause disturbances to the Earth’s ionosphere. These disturbances then affect the signal delay from GPS satellites to a receiver, introducing uncertainty in the determination of position. The Utah State University Space Weather Center (SWC) in Logan has developed the Global Assimilation of Ionospheric Measurements (GAIM) system since 1995. GAIM uses a physics-based model as its core and incorporates 10,000 slant TEC global measurements every 15 minutes through Kalman filtering to correct the current epoch ionosphere. Because Kalman filtering provides some recent memory of the recent ionosphere, and because the physics-based model in GAIM can be driven with predicted solar irradiances and geomagnetic indices, it is now possible to have very accurate global and CONUS slant TEC at the current epoch combined with a forecast architecture being extended to 72 hours. Dr. Tobiska will describe the advances in GAIM TEC specification as related to GPS position accuracy and give examples of enterprise solutions now under development to improve position accuracy.

September 2010 Meeting Summary

Dr. Terence (Terry) McGurn gave a talk on the US Program to Identify, Geolocate, and Mitigate Sources of GPS Interference to the Southern California Section on Sep. 14, 2010 at NavCom Technology. There were about 15 in attendance. A brief bio follows, and the slides used during the meeting are attached.

Capsule Biography of Dr. McGurn:
Terry McGurn received his PhD in Electrical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in 1969. Prior to that he was an Assistant Professor in the Dept of Physics at what is now the New Jersey Institute of Technology. After leaving Stevens he joined the Federal Government as an analyst, addressing issues of navigation, guidance, and control. He retired in 2000 after 31 years of service as a member of the Senior Executive Service. He now serves on the Positioning Navigation & Timing Advisory Board (PNTAB) of the Federal Agencies’ EXCOM. He also serves on the Independent Review Team supporting the Director, Air Force Space Command.

Slides: There Exists a US Program to Identify, Geolocate, and Mitigate Sources of GPS Interference, but are we Serious?

May 2010 Meeting Summary

On May 27, 2010, the Southern California Chapter of the ION held a meeting, hosted by NavCom in Torrance, CA. The meeting included a presentation from Professor Jay Farrell and Ms. Anning Chen entitled “Technologies for Vehicle Lane-Level Positioning”. 34 25 people were in attendance for the meeting. A short biography and abstract of the meeting follows, and the slides used during the meeting are attached.

Capsule Biographies of our Speakers:
Anning Chen received B.S. and M.S. degree in control science and engineering from Zhejiang University, China. She is now a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering at University of California, Riverside. Her research interest includes carrier-phase GPS aided INS navigation and vehicle guidance system.

J. A. Farrell received B.S. degrees in physics and electrical engineering from Iowa State University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame. At Charles Stark Draper Lab (1989-1994), he was principal investigator on projects involving autonomous vehicles. Dr. Farrell received the Engineering Vice President’s Best Technical Publication Award in 1990 and Recognition Awards for Outstanding Performance and Achievement in 1991 and 1993. He is a Professor and former Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Riverside. He has served as Vice President of Finance and Vice President of Technical Activities for the IEEE Control Systems Society. He is a Fellow of the IEEE (2008), a Distinguished Member of the IEEE Control Systems Society, was recognized by GPS World as a GNSS Leader to Watch in 2010, and is author of over 160 technical publications. He is author of the book “Aided Navigation: GPS with High Rate Sensors” (McGraw-Hill 2008). He is also co-author of the books “The Global Positioning System and Inertial Navigation” (McGraw-Hill, 1998) and “Adaptive Approximation Based Control: Unifying Neural, Fuzzy and Traditional Adaptive Approximation Approaches” (John Wiley 2006).

Abstract of presentation:
Slides: Slides: High-precision lane-level road map building for vehicle navigation
Slides: Slides: Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles
The United States Department of Transportation has initiated efforts to conduct field tests and deployment of the Transit Vehicle Assist and Automation (VAA) program. Various VAA applications incorporate lane-relative vehicle navigation and control requiring accurate lane-relative positioning of the vehicle. Alternative approaches will be reviewed. In the approach that is the focus of this presentation; lane-relative position is computed by comparing the vehicle absolute position with analytic roadway maps. This approach requires both high-accuracy positioning of the vehicle and high-accuracy lane-level maps. Anning Chen’s portion of the presentation will discuss the structure of lane-level maps that are compatible with standard practices of GIS road modeling. She will present a method to build and refine lane-level maps from high-accuracy positioning data along the lane center. Professor Farrell’s portion of the presentation will discuss possible approaches for aided vehicle navigation within the VAA program.

February 2010 Meeting Summary

On February 18, 2010, the Southern California Chapter of the ION held a meeting, hosted by NavCom in Torrance, CA. 25 people were in attendance to listen to a presentation by Dr. David S. De Lorenzo of Stanford University GPS Research Laboratory. An abstract of the talk and a short biography follow, and the slides used during the meeting are available.

Capsule Biography of David De Lorenzo:
David De Lorenzo is a Research Associate in the Stanford University GPS Research Laboratory and an Engineer in the Research Group at Polaris Wireless. His current research is in navigation system security and integrity, software-defined radios, adaptive signal processing, and mixed-signal urban/indoor location estimation. He received the Ph.D. degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University and previously has worked for Lockheed Martin and for the Intel Corporation.

Abstract of David De Lorenzo’s Talk:
Slides: Trust and Authenticity of Navigation Systems
The threats to navigation system utility and integrity come from Mother Nature, in the form of perturbations such as atmospheric disturbances and multipath, from inadvertent faults within the system, for example satellite clock errors and maintenance outages, and from manmade sources, including unintentional interference and deliberate jamming. As satellite-derived position, navigation, and time services becomes more pervasive, and as the information so derived is relied upon to secure safety-critical operations or financially-sensitive transactions, there will be some applications for which it is economically justifiable to harden against malicious attack. There has been substantial work to date on GPS/GNSS integrity (particularly for aviation applications) and interference rejection (particularly for military systems) – this talk will focus on the emerging discipline of navigation system authenticity, trust, and non-repudiation. We will describe a novel processing architecture, similar in some sense to codeless or semi-codeless L1/L2 processing, that addresses these dual concerns: (1) when processing signals that I receive myself, how do I ensure their authenticity? and (2) when receiving an assertion from another party about the signals that they receive, how do I ensure the validity of their assertion?

December 2009 Meeting Summary

On December 16, 2009, the Southern California Chapter of the ION held a meeting, hosted by NavCom in Torrance, CA. 34 were in attendance to listen to a presentation by Len Jacobsen. An abstract of the talk and a short biography follow, and the slides used during the meeting are available.

Capsule Biography of Len Jacobson:
Len Jacobson has been involved with GPS and its predecessor systems since 1968. From 1993 onward, he has been a consultant to the GPS industry and Government through his own company, Global Systems and Marketing Inc. During his 30-year career in industry he worked in SATCOM, SATNAV, and spread spectrum systems engineering at ITT, Hughes, Magnavox and as a Vice President at Interstate Electronics.

Len served for many years on the Institute of Navigation (ION) Council in several positions including Space Representative and twice as Western Region Vice President. He chaired the ION National Technical Meeting two times and also was Program Chair. He has been an Editorial Advisor to “GPS World” since its inception and served as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Chapter. Other affiliations include: AFCEA, AFA, SCAPR, IEEE, etc. He has written countless articles and papers on GPS and had a book called “GNSS Markets and Applications” published by Artech in 2007. For the past decade, he has been called upon as an expert witness in many criminal and civil cases involving GPS.

Len holds a BEE form the City College of NY (now CUNY) and an MSEE from Brooklyn Polytechnic (now NYU-PINY).

Abstract of Len Jacobson’s Talk:
Slides: Current and Future GNSS Trends
Len Jacobson will present his views on the current and future trends for GNSS. Starting with his forecast for the overall market from his 2007 book on the subject he will explore what has happened in the last two years to render it unrealized.

Drawing heavily from comments made by Qualcomm and NovAtel representatives on a recent “GPS World” Webinar moderated by Len, he will present his interpretation and prognosis for GNSS for the coming years.

Topics likely to be discussed include multi-GNSS receivers, new signals, A-GPS vs. more satellites, free use of consumer nav services from Google/Verizon, L2C use for high precision applications, mini INS/GPS, legal considerations of patents and privacy rights, etc.