Coalition Releases GPS Initiative Update

The Coalition To Save Our GPS released the following update on activities related to the Lightsquared initiative and the push to keep high accuracy GPS viable in the US:

Two recent hearings focused on LightSquared and its impact on GPS signals. On Thursday, September 15th, the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces held a hearing where Air Force General William Shelton testified that, “based on the test results and analysis today, the LightSquared network would effectively jam vital GPS receivers. And to our knowledge thus far, there are no mitigation options that would be effective in eliminating interference to essential GPS services in the United States.” When questioned about costs, the general responded, “We have not estimated cost. However, I think it’d be very safe to say that the cost would be in the b’s – billions of dollars.”

On Thursday, September 8th, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing on the “Impacts of the LightSquared Network,” where lawmakers and expert witnesses called for further testing of the planned network. Tony Russo, director of the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing, “If GPS is a teaspoon of water, LightSquared is Niagara Falls. Technical experts are split as to whether it is even feasible that we could put a filter in that was both strong enough to knock out the LightSquared signal and still allow us to do our mission.”

Earlier this week, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced that they have taken initial steps to investigate the possibility that political influence may have played a role in the FCC’s decision in the LightSquared waiver. Two letters that the House Science Committee sent to the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and technology Policy can be found here.

We are anticipating Congressional action in the near future on two pieces of legislation that address the GPS interference issue. The first bill, HR 1540, directs the FCC not to proceed on the LightSquared matter until interference to Department of Defense GPS systems is resolved. The second bill, HR 2434, directs the FCC not to proceed on the LightSquared matter until interference to commercial GPS users is resolved. We are hopeful that Congress will take final action on these two bills in the next several weeks.

NTIA and FCC call for more testing:

In a letter to the U.S. Defense and Transportation Departments dated September 9, 2011, Lawrence Strickling, who heads the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, called for further testing of the LightSquared network to conclude by November 30. The letter called primarily for testing of cellular and personal/general navigation devices, noting that additional testing will be required for high-precision receivers once filters are developed to mitigate interference. The letter can be viewed here.

On September 13, 2011, the FCC called for further testing as well to ensure that LightSquared won’t cause harmful interference to GPS. The FCC’s public notice can be found here.

LightSquared revises its plans…again:

LightSquared’s latest proposal, its third of the year, includes limiting the on-the-ground power levels its ground stations will transmit. While it appears to be a positive step toward reducing, for some devices, the harmful interference to GPS signals confirmed during testing of LightSquared’s earlier incomplete proposals, it still leaves a huge gap because it does not claim to solve interference to high-precision GPS receivers. Even after three tries, there remain substantial gaps in what LightSquared has offered.

LightSquared’s supposed technical fix for high-precision receivers:

On September 21st, LightSquared, in partnership with Javad GNSS, claimed to have found a solution that will prevent its network from interfering with high-precision GPS devices and that the company will test prototypes during additional tests required by the FCC. LightSquared has, as usual, oversimplified and greatly overstated the significance of the claims of a single vendor to have solved the interference issue. There have been many vendor claims that have not proven out in rigorous tests and the demanding tests of marketplace acceptance. Moreover, this is not a one-size-fits-all situation and a few prototypes does not a solution make.

The way forward:

As the Coalition stated in a statement on Tuesday, September 20th, “It’s time for LightSquared to stop its glossy ads, irresponsible rhetoric, revisionist history and finger pointing, and provide genuine, fully-tested solutions to the GPS interference problem. LightSquared has always been prohibited from interfering with GPS, and it should have done its homework on this critical issue before spending its investors’ money. It is not the fault of government GPS users or the GPS industry that LightSquared has failed to offer proposals that actually solve the problem. LightSquared must accept the responsibility to provide technical proposals that do resolve the problem, as well as its financial responsibility to address any interference issues that it cannot resolve by technical proposals.”

How to stay involved:

As you know, the FCC’s public comment period and follow-on reply comment period in the LightSquared matter wrapped up in August. We are very encouraged that more than 3,000 comments were submitted, the vast majority of which advocated for the protection of GPS.

Keep voicing your concerns. Write your Representatives and Senators in Congress. Tell them how you use GPS, and how you or your business would be affected by interference.

To find your Representative click here. To find your Senators, click here.

Recent news coverage:

FoxNews.com | September 19, 2011
Billionaire Backer Disputes Charges That Company Sought White House Help to Influence Testimony

The Hill | September 15, 2011
Fixing LightSquared could take a decade, general says

Inside GNSS | September 15, 2011
LightSquared Would Jam GPS, Defense Officials Tell Congress

The Washington Post | September 8, 2011
GOP decries FCC’s conditional approval of LightSquared wireless plan

Bloomberg | September 8, 2011
LightSquared May Degrade Hurricane Tracking, Agencies Say

www.SaveOurGPS.org

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Guidance Stories
Hagie sprayer
GuidanceWhat’s New and What’s Next from Hagie Manufacturing
May 16, 2017
Many were surprised by John Deere’s announcement last spring that it had acquired majority ownership of Hagie Manufacturing Co., a Read More
GuidanceTersus adds RTK-Based AutoSteer System to GNSS Offerings
May 8, 2017
Tersus GNSS Inc., a Chinese GNSS RTK manufacturing company, released its brand new AutoSteer solution recently. The AG960 AutoSteer System Read More
GuidanceTopcon Debuts SI-21 Lightbar for X-Family of Displays
February 28, 2017
Topcon Agriculture announces the release of the SI-21 Lightbar, designed as a cost-effective, user-friendly product to complement manual guidance, providing Read More
GuidanceTopcon Launching New X35 In-Cab Display Console
February 27, 2017
Topcon Agriculture introduces the new X35 — the next generation in the X-Family of touchscreen displays with advanced functionality. Designed Read More
Trending Articles
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
EventsPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
Gavin Newsom Forbes AgTech-Summit
ProfessionalsAgTech Summit Aiming High for Modern Farming Solutions
June 12, 2017
THRIVE AgTech, in partnership with SVG Partners and Forbes, is hosting the third annual Forbes AgTech Summit June 28-29 in Read More
Quantix Drone Farmer
DronesTop 10 Most Intriguing Technologies in Agriculture
June 3, 2017
This may be a bit of stating the obvious here, but we’ll throw it out there anyways: as much as Read More
Farming iPad
Data ManagementOpinion: ROI or Die in Precision Agriculture
May 12, 2017
The thought of $3.50 corn for the foreseeable future seems pretty disheartening. However, if you look at the precision ag Read More
BASF Maglis grower retailer tablet
Data ManagementQ&A: What BASF’s Latest Foray into Precision Ag Means For Growers
May 11, 2017
In late April, BASF agreed to acquire U.S. precision ag player ZedX, a leader in the development of agronomic weather, Read More
Mung beans Australia
InternationalPrecision Ag in a Tough Season in Australia
May 8, 2017
This year’s summer crop season has been a tough one for most growers in Australia. Prolonged periods of high temperatures Read More
Latest News
Data ManagementCDMS Announces SeedIQ Acquisition
June 26, 2017
Crop Data Management Systems, Inc., (CDMS) announces the acquisition of SeedIQ as part of its growth plan to provide complete Read More
Cotton closeup
Imagery/SensingCotton Growth Management with Precision Agriculture
June 20, 2017
A cotton crop presents some important differences to other commodities that are widely produced in Brazil, such as soybean and Read More
Corn Field
Industry NewsCNBC: Inside Amazon’s Whole Foods Takeover
June 20, 2017
Amazon’s takeover of Whole Foods sent the stock of competing grocery chains plummeting. To understand why, you need to know Read More
DronesNavigating a New World: Drone Technology in Agriculture…
June 20, 2017
My first exposure to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) was as a master’s student at Kansas State University. I was researching Read More
Precision Ag Innovation Series
EventsInnovation Series Agenda Zeroes In On Maximizing Key Se…
June 14, 2017
In a recent survey of service providers conducted by PrecisionAg® Professional magazine, more than seven in 10 indicated that variable Read More
Soil Scientists
Data ManagementAccessing USDA Soil Data for Precision Farming
June 13, 2017
Many precision farming websites have integrated the USDA NRCS soil survey database using the USDA Soil Data Access web portal. Read More
GEOSYS In-Season Imagery
Decision Support SoftwareGeosys Announces Imagery and Weather Data Offering
June 13, 2017
Geosys, a provider of agronomic decision support tools, today launched Geosys Labs, a new program that will make its global Read More
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
EventsPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
Decision Support SoftwareMyriad Mobile Raises $1.5 Million to Launch New Ag-Tech…
June 12, 2017
Myriad Mobile, a software technology company focused on mobile and web applications, has raised $1.5 million in a Pre-Series A Read More
center-pivot-irrigation-drop-sprinklers-on-corn
Variable Rate ApplicationVariable-Rate Fertigation Can Be Simple
June 12, 2017
A rule is a rule is a rule, right? Well, not always. Sometimes, rules are meant to be changed. Most Read More
Gavin Newsom Forbes AgTech-Summit
ProfessionalsAgTech Summit Aiming High for Modern Farming Solutions
June 12, 2017
THRIVE AgTech, in partnership with SVG Partners and Forbes, is hosting the third annual Forbes AgTech Summit June 28-29 in Read More
Sensors/IoTLeveraging IoT to Improve Data Collection for Agricultu…
June 12, 2017
Between population growth and climate change, farms of all sizes are being challenged to increase yields. Internet of Things (IoT) Read More
DronesAg Drone Update: The Hunt for 1,000 (OPINION)
June 10, 2017
Having obtained my FAA Part 107 Commercial Drone Operators license back in September of last year, I’ve spent the past Read More
Industry NewsMergers & Acquisitions: Land O’Lakes Tosses E…
June 9, 2017
Land O’Lakes has made a minority equity investment in EFC Systems, an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and precision solution provider Read More
Mixmate-featured-image
Decision Support SoftwareHandy Software, Hardware for the Field
June 7, 2017
More than two decades ago, Iowa grower Doug Applegate wished for a “little portable chemical blending system” that could easily Read More
Decision Support SoftwareHarnessing A Team To Build Your Own Software
June 7, 2017
What’s a powerhouse retail network to do when it can’t find a software system to meet incredibly diverse needs? Build Read More
Tim Ferrell Marshall County Co-op
Decision Support SoftwareWhen It’s Time To Switch Software
June 7, 2017
No one in their right mind wants to change software. That’s the opinion of Tim Ferrell, manager of Marshall County Read More
PA Special Report Enterprise
Decision Support SoftwareSpecial Report: Enterprise Management Systems
June 7, 2017
A functional and stable software system can allow a retail operation to run at maximum efficiency, build customer loyalty and Read More