RAF and synthetic fuel flight

Group Captain Willy Hackett flies the world’s first flight
powered by 100% synthetic fuel – UK MoD © Crown copyright 2021
Second left, Group Captain Peter ‘Willy’ Hackett with, centre, Guinness World Records adjudicator Glenn Pollard after successful completion of the flight – UK MoD © Crown copyright 2021

The RAF and Zero Petroleum have won a Guinness World Record for the world’s first successful flight using only synthetic fuel.
In a world-first, an Ikarus C42 microlight aircraft flown by Group Captain Peter Hackett, completed a short flight powered by synthetic gasoline at Kemble Airfield, Cotswold Airport, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England, earlier this month.

Zero Petroleum’s synthetic UL91 fuel is manufactured by extracting hydrogen from water and carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide. Using energy generated from sources such as wind or solar, these are combined to create the synthetic fuel.

This innovation is part of the RAF’s Project MARTIN and has the potential to save 80-90% of carbon per flight, supporting the RAF’s vision that synthetic fuels will have a major role in powering the fast jets of the future.

The future of a resilient, trustworthy and ubiquitous Time Transfer

Illustration © ESA

On Wednesday, November 10, 2021, GMV GmbH teaming up with the National Metrology Institute of Germany (PTB) presented the results of the project ‘RESILIENT, TRUSTWORTHY, UBIQUITOUS TIME TRANSFER’ which were achieved through the support of the NAVISP program. Almost 70 people from industry and research attended the final presentation, which shows the great public interest in the project.

As part of NAVISP Element 1, which aims to develop innovative concepts, techniques, technologies, and systems related to the PNT sector along the entire value chain, GMV GmbH’s main objective was to develop innovative and complementary methods of time transfer, focusing on the use of non-GNSS technologies to address common vulnerabilities of all GNSS-based time transfer techniques, such as susceptibility to spoofing, jamming, and signal blockage (indoors).

Telespazio UK appoints new Head of Navigation

Martin Bransby joined Telespazio UK in August as the Head of Navigation, with responsibility for delivering activities focussed on robust, resilient and alternative (to GNSS) Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services.

He was previously with the General Lighthouse Authorities of the United Kingdom and Ireland where he was Head of Research and Development for sixteen years.

According to Telespazio he joined at a time the company is strengthening and developing its Navigation and PNT portfolio, and his domain experience in maritime brings an additional dimension to Telespazio’s Navigation and PNT business.

General Lighthouse Authorities appoint new Head of Ramp;&D

We learn that the General Lighthouse Authorities of the United Kingdom and Ireland (GLA) have named Dr Alan Grant as the Head of its Research and Development team. He assumed his new role on 1 November.

As part of his duties Dr Grant heads the GLA’s research and development programme, considering existing and future maritime requirements and operational strategy.

Dr Grant joined the GLAs in 2003 and has worked on a variety of systems during his time with GRAD. He led a series of successful GPS jamming trials and the development of the multi-system radionavigation receiver performance standards, from initial concept through to international recognition at the IMO. He continues to support resilient positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) in maritime navigation at both technical and strategic levels.

Navigation 2021 IS happening!

There are many uncertainties in the world at the moment but Navigation 2021 is not one of them.

The Navigation 2021 Conference will be going ahead as a hybrid event from 16-18 November. The full conference will be taking place online on our immersive conference platform, and for those who are able to join in person please join the conference in Edinburgh (including two evening socials).

The conference platform is now live – register now to join the experience.

Polar vessels meet at Harwich International

Polar vessels mv Maud and RRS Sir David Attenborough at Harwich International, 20 October 2021 – photo per Hutchison Ports Harwich International with grateful thanks ©

On 20 October Hutchison Ports Harwich International welcomed the first call by mv Maud, a polar cruise vessel operated by Norwegian Hurtigruten Group. The ship is named after one of the most famous polar vessels, the original Maud took explorer Roald Amundsen on his second expedition to the Arctic in 1917.

Returning from a 14-night cruise of Norway during which time the vessel crossed the Arctic Circle, Maud was in Harwich International port at the same time as the British Antarctic Survey‘s new vessel, RRS Sir David Attenborough.

Sir David Attenborough was due to remain at Harwich then sail for London to become the centre of the British Antarctic Survey’s showcase of polar environmental science, engineering and technology, to coincide with the UN COP26 climate talks in Glasgow from 1 November.

29th Saint Petersburg International Conference on Integrated Navigation Systems

The 29th Saint Petersburg International Conference on Integrated Navigation Systems will be held by the State Research Center of the Russian Federation – Concern Central Scientific and Research Institute Elektropribor, JSC (St. Petersburg, Russia) on 30 May – 1 June 2022.

This annual Conference has become a traditional event for scientists and engineers from all over the world involved in navigation and motion control to share the results of their investigations and discuss prospects for the future.

Galileo Control Segment upgrade ready for next launch

A global ground network is essential to ensure the continued reliability of the time and positioning information embedded within the signals from orbit. – © ESA

A significant first for next month’s 11th Galileo launch: thanks to an upgrade of the world-spanning Galileo Control Segment, this will be the first launch where the satellites’ first steps into space will be overseen from an existing Galileo Control Centre, rather than requiring an external mission control site.

For all Galileo launches up until this one, the satellites’ post-liftoff ‘Launch and Early Operations Phase’ (LEOP) have been overseen from either ESA’s ESOC control centre in Darmstadt, Germany, or French space agency CNES’s site in Toulouse, France.

As well as increasing overall reliability and cybersecurity, this new upgrade also opens the way to significant expansion of the Galileo constellation, which at 26 satellites already equals Europe’s largest satellite constellation. This updated Galileo Control Segment (GCS) is designed to enable oversight of up to 38 satellites, harnessing state-of-the-art technology using the latest solutions on the market.

2022 Israel Navigation Conference and Exhibition – third announcement

The Navigation Workshop is a biennial event organized and sponsored by the Israel Association for Automatic Control (IAAC). For those not familiar with the association, the IAAC is a non-profit organization congregating a large number of members from Academy and Industry interested in the broad areas of Control and System Theory.

Check the webpage for further details and the opportunity to subscribe to the IAAC mailing list.

Following the huge success of previous events, the 2022 edition has been scheduled for 31 January at the Daniel Hotel, Herzliya. The workshop is a one day event dedicated to technical talks that range from fundamental research, to applications, to field test results.

Navigation 2021 / ENC2021 will take place from 15 to 18 November

Professsor Terry Moore, Conference Chair has been pleased to provide the following update: ‘As Chair of Navigation 2021, I am delighted to confirm that this major navigation conference will include an in-person element: we will meet at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre from 15-18 November 2021. Delegates may also join virtually.

Navigation 2021 is about collaboration and understanding across science, technology and practice – including applications, animal navigation, cognition and human factors. This is shaping up to be a very significant event.’

ION journal to be open access

In the US, the Institute of Navigation announced at the end of September that its journal, NAVIGATION, will be Open Access (OA) beginning on 1 January 2022.

NAVIGATION is one the leading peer-reviewed and indexed scientific journal publishing articles on all areas related to the art and science of Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT).

Lisa Beaty, the journal’s managing editor and executive director of ION commented: ‘Moving NAVIGATION to an Open Access domain is critical to supporting ION’s mission of advancing Positioning, Navigation, and Timing, and will speed the delivery of timely PNT research, without the restrictions of paywalls or price barriers, to a worldwide audience. We want all scientists and engineers to be able to collaborate, analyse, and build upon each other’s work for society’s common good.’

Dr Mark Psiaki receives the ION Kepler Award

The Institute of Navigation presented Dr Mark Psiaki with the prestigious Johannes Kepler Award during the ION GNSS+ 2021 Conference on 24 September.

Dr Psiaki was recognized for setting a standard of rigor, clarity, and thoroughness in addressing key estimation and signal processing problems in PNT.
He originated the technique of bit-wise parallel RF signal processing for use in general-purpose processors. This enabler of software-defined GNSS led to the first space deployment of a fully software-defined GNSS receiver on a general- purpose DSP and to the widespread adoption of software-defined GNSS across the aerospace industry.

Additionally, Dr Psiaki’s real-time software radio expertise enabled the development of a spoofer cultivated in his research group. Dr Psiaki subsequently led the development of spoofing detection algorithms based on cross-correlation of unknown P(Y) codes and based on direction-of-arrival sensing.

Dr Lakshay Narula receives ION’s Parkinson Award

Dr Lakshay Narula (left) and Bradford W. Parkinson

The (US) Institute of Navigation presented Dr Lakshay Narula with its prestigious Bradford W Parkinson Award during the ION GNSS+ 2021 Conference on 24 September 2021.

Dr Narula was recognized for his thesis, Towards Secure & Robust PNT for Automated Systems.

The Bradford W Parkinson Award is awarded annually to an outstanding graduate student in the field of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).
The award, which honours Dr Parkinson for his leadership in establishing both the US Global Positioning System and the Satellite Division of the Institute of Navigation, includes a personalized plaque and a $2,500 honorarium.

IAAC Missile Guidance workshop

Leonid Mirkin has written to all IAAC list subscribers by way of reminder that the early registration deadline (10 October) for the IAAC workshop ‘Missile Guidance’ is approaching. The workshop will be held on 18 October and its programme and the registration form are parts of the workshop invitation.

More details can be found in its book of abstracts available here.

He advises that visitors take into consideration that the workshop will require a valid Green Pass to enter.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin KCB ADC to be Chief of the UK Defence Staff

Photo: MoD Crown Copyright 2021 ©

It was announced on 7 October that HM the Queen had approved the appointment of Admiral Sir Tony Radakin KCB ADC to take over from General Sir Nicholas Carter GCB CBE DSO ADC Gen as the next Chief of the Defence Staff.

The Chief of the Defence Staff is the professional head of the Armed Forces and principal military adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence and the government. The role reports to the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister.

The Navigation Flashlight 2021-2

From our Austrian member institute, the Österreichischer Verein für Navigation, we have received word of the latest issue of their regular publication, The Navigation Flashlight. It is published three times a year, currently in its twenty first year of publication and it is in German.

Reminder: Besonders wollte ich auch nochmal auf die AHORN 2021 aufmerksam machen, die am 1. und 2. Dezember in Schladming stattfindet. Die Deadline für Einreichungen ist der 11. Oktober 2021. Weitere Infos dazu finden Sie im Flashlight.

USCG and JCG cooperation

The USCGC Kimball and the Japan Naval Training Vessel Kashima transiting near Dutch Harbor, Alaska. – photo USCG ©

Over the past year, the United States and Japan have increasingly strengthened their relationship in the maritime domain through the shared mission set of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and the US Coast Guard.

The Kimball and Kashima crews operated alongside one another in the Aleutian Island chain to exchange visual communications, followed by honours, as their respective crews lined their ship’s rails for a uniform salute. This display of maritime cooperation and mutual respect emphasizes both the United States’ and Japan’s continued commitment to one another and to partnership at sea.

Captain Thomas D’Arcy, CO of Kimball commented: ‘The Kimball crew welcomed the opportunity to meet the Kashima and conduct a professional exercise at sea.

Seeing the crews aboard the Kimball and the Kashima line the rails for the passing of honours illustrates the spirit of collaboration between the US Coast Guard and Japan’s maritime forces. The exercise, movements and communications between our vessels were expertly executed and the salutes exchanged exemplify the strength of our relationship with Japan as a key partner.’

US Coast Guard study – Evaluation of Pacific coastal waterway use

USCGC George Cobb of 11th District Pacific Southwest – USCG©

On 24 September from San Francisco, the USCG 11th District (Pacific Southwest) announced that it had requested public participation during the Pacific Coast Port Access Route Study (PAC-PARS).

Federal register notices for the PAC-PARS have been opened for comment. Comments and related materials must be received on or before 25 January 2022.

It is understood that the PAC-PARS will evaluate the use of coastal waterways by collecting vessel tracking data, environmental data, existing and planned offshore development/infrastructure, historical marine incident data, and public comment.

We learn that this is the first comprehensive evaluation of all vessel traffic patterns that use the Pacific Coast waterway along the coast of California, Oregon, and Washington. The main goal of the PAC-PARS is to evaluate historic and future waterway use to determine navigational risk.

North Pacific Coast Guard Forum Summit

Vice Admiral Michael McAllister, commander of USCG Pacific Area, during the 21st North Pacific Coast Guard Forum Summit, 14-16 September. – photo by Cmdr. C. Parrish. USCG ©

The commander of US Coast Guard Pacific Area, an Alameda, California-based unit that oversees US Coast Guard activities from the US western states to Asia and from the Arctic to Antarctica, hosted an annual forum summit with coast guard counterparts from five countries on 14, 15 and 16 September.
During this year’s North Pacific Coast Guard Forum Summit, forum members gathered virtually over the course of three days to discuss topics such as challenges in the North Pacific, the need for coordinated responses to those challenges, and Japan Coast Guard’s best practices and lessons learned while supporting the Tokyo Olympics.

Vice Admiral Michael F McAllister commented: ‘The forum presents us the invaluable opportunity to communicate best practices, learn from each other and share information on myriad topics including search and rescue, counterdrug, pollution response, illicit trafficking, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, among others.’

Greek Civil Aviation Authority navigation aids infrastructure modernisation

Illustration kindly provided by Thales ©

It was announced last month that the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority had awarded Thales a contract to support the modernisation of the Greek civil aviation navigation aids infrastructure.

This turnkey contract includes the supply of ten Doppler VHF Omnidirectional Range (DVOR) beacons, thirteen Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) and six Instrument Landing Systems (ILS). It also comprises installation of instruments on eighteen different sites across the country, from remote mountain peaks, to major hubs such as Athens International Airport.

The Navigation Surveillance capabilities will ensure all-weather, en route navigation and approach services and will significantly increase both safety and air traffic efficiency.

Application and usability of ECDIS – an Anglo-Danish collaborative study

On 2 September the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) and the Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board (DMAIB) published a study to generate an understanding of the practical application and usability of ECDIS and to support future ECDIS design, training strategies and the development of best practices.

A joint statement by Oessur Hilduberg, Head of the DMAIB and Andrew Moll, Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents, MAIB has been issued and reads: ‘Investigation of groundings since 2008 have repeatedly shown that where ECDIS was the primary means of navigation it was not being used to its full potential.

There was a significant mismatch between the intention of the performance standards and system designers, and the way the watchkeepers were using the system. This study set out to understand whether the findings of accident investigations could be extrapolated as representing the wider marine industry and, if so, why.’

US Lighthouse re-dedication

The Coast Guard held a rededication ceremony at the New Point Loma Lighthouse in San Diego – USCG photo by Alex Gray, USCG ©
The Hon. Scott Peters, US House of Representatives, and Rear Admiral Brian K Penoyer, 11th USCG District commander, cut the ribbon during the rededication ceremony – USCG photo by Alex Gray, USCG ©

On 20 August the US Coast Guard held a rededication ceremony at New Point Loma Lighthouse in San Diego, California. Rededication is the official recognition of the light station’s service career and honours its history as a Coast Guard aid to navigation.

Captain Timothy J Barelli, the Coast Guard Sector San Diego commander commented: ‘Every time you see this light flash, know that lives are being saved, trade and travellers are flowing through our marine transit system, illegal drugs are prevented from entering our great nation and sailors are welcomed home.’

The lighthouse was placed on secondary power in April 2017 while contractors and Coast Guard staff conducted renovations. This restoration cost over $2 million and took approximately three years to complete. Coast Guard staff spent more than 30 hours rewiring the light during the final stages of construction, and the main light was formally re-lit in March of 2020.

Juan Carlos Salazar, new ICAO SG takes office

Top: The President of the ICAO Council, Mr Salvatore Sciacchitano (left), with the Secretary General of ICAO, Mr Juan Carlos Salazar. Bottom: Mr Juan Carlos Salazar signs his Solemn Declaration as SG of ICAO.

Earlier this month it was announced from Montréal that Juan Carlos Salazar of Colombia officially assumed the office of ICAO Secretary General, succeeding Dr Fang Liu of China.

Juan Carlos Salazar assumed this role as CEO of the UN’s specialized agency for civil aviation as the international flight network continues to assure the efficient global movement of food, vaccines, e-commerce, and other essential supplies and personnel, despite the air transport industry still being severely confronted by Covid-19, greatly diminished routes, and slowly rebounding international air travel and tourism.

Mr Salazar commented: ‘It is a great honour to be assuming this role at this time, and to have the opportunity to help governments and ICAO play an important part in how this sector builds back better and recovers from the global pandemic.’

GNSS+ 2021

ION GNSS+ 2021 is taking place from 20 to 24 September in St. Louis, Missouri (virtual option available for those unable to join us in St. Louis).

ION GNSS+ 2021 includes a virtual option for those who are unable to travel. Virtual Registration offers access to all on-demand conference content, live streams of select sessions, proceedings, as well as recordings of the sessions that were live streamed during the conference. ION GNSS+ Virtual Registration includes virtual contact with ION GNSS+ exhibitors and CGSIC’s technical program.

ION GNSS+ 2021 will feature seven pre-conference tutorials held on Tuesday, 21 September. Tutorials can be participated either in-person or virtually by recognized leaders in their field. A rebroadcast virtual tutorial has also been added to this year’s tutorial program to accommodate our international virtual audience.

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