Information for Policymakers from the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT)
March 31, 2016
GPS Spectrum Mentioned at Air Force Budget Hearing
During a March 15 hearing on the FY 2017 budget for national security space programs, Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL) of the House Armed Services Committee's Strategic Forces Subcommittee asked the following question to General John Hyten, Commander of Air Force Space Command.
Chairman Rogers: "A proposal under consideration by the FCC would have created extensive harmful interference to GPS. Can you please describe for me your views on the proposal by the LightSquared -- the company LightSquared or its successor Ligado?"
Gen. Hyten: "I've heard Ligado has put forth a new proposal to use that spectrum. But I'll tell you, Congressman, I have seen no data that supports the use of that frequency spectrum other than the data I saw in 2011. I don't think that we should infringe on the GPS spectrum. That's a critical capability, not just for the military security of the nation, but for the entire economic well-being of this nation. We can't allow that to happen. All that being said, is that we have an effort with the Department of Transportation in April this year that we're going to go out and do some detailed testing on that spectrum area. . . . But the partnership has to be based on real testing, real impacts and what the impacts on the national security are and we cannot do something that will infringe on our national security, period."
New Law Keeps Loran-C as Option for Possible GPS Backup
The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015, signed February 8, 2016, amended Title 14 of the U.S. Code to include a new Section 681, "Disposition of infrastructure related to E-LORAN." The new statute bars DHS from further dismantling the legacy LORAN-C infrastructure until certifying to Congress that it is not needed as a basis for "a positioning, navigation, and timing system to provide redundant capability in the event the Global Positioning System signals are disrupted." The legislation also authorizes DHS to enter agreements with public or private entities to develop a "Backup Positioning, Navigation, and Timing System." Similar guidance was previously enacted in the 2014 Coast Guard Act. Learn more at GPS.gov
Final GPS IIF Satellite Reaches Orbit, Enters Service
The Air Force successfully launched the 12th and final GPS Block IIF satellite into orbit on February 5, 2016. It became available to users on March 9. The IIF series began launching in 2010, offering improved accuracy, signal strength, and quality. Each IIF satellite has a 12-year design lifespan. Currently, there are 31 operational satellites in the GPS constellation. The next-generation GPS III satellites are currently in production. Learn more about the new GPS satellites at GPS.gov. (Image courtesy ULA)
This newsletter is produced and distributed by the National Coordination Office for Space-Based PNT, a central resource within the government for GPS policy information. For more information, visit www.gps.gov/congress.
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