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
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
Case IH - AFS AccuStar and UAV Offering - Magnum MX210 AccuStar Receiver
DronesCase IH Adds New GPS Solution, UAV Package To AFS Offerings
February 21, 2017
Driven by the growing demand for efficient data management, the latest Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) solutions from Case IH help Read More
GuidanceCase IH Launches AccuTurn Automated Headland-Turning Tech
February 15, 2017
New AccuTurn automated headland-turning technology from Case IH takes the guesswork out of turning on headlands, which gives you improved Read More
Trending Articles
Bruce Rasa corn AgVoice app
Data ManagementVoice-To-Data Tool Shows Promise For Scouting
March 24, 2017
See it, speak it, record it. No pens, no paper, no lost information. In a nutshell that’s what Bruce Rasa Read More
Downed Drone
DronesOpinion: The Agricultural Drone War Is Over, And They Lost
March 15, 2017
If you are late to the aerial imagery party and think that agricultural drones are the vehicle that are the Read More
Nebraska Farmer
Business ManagementA Right To Repair: Why Nebraska Farmers Are Taking On John Deere And Apple
March 10, 2017
There are corn and soy fields as far as the eye can see around Kyle Schwarting’s home in Ceresco, NE, Read More
Australia crop
Ag Tech GlobalMaking Precision Agriculture Work In Australia
March 6, 2017
Editor’s note: Reinder Prins is Market Development Manager for Cotton Growers Service in Wee Waa, NSW, Australia, where he is Read More
ScoutPro | ScoutPro
Decision Support Software17 Field Scouting Apps For Precision Agriculture
February 6, 2017
There are dozens of easy-to-use mobile apps that are ideal for every day field scouting tasks. From record keeping and Read More
John Deere Dealership
Business ManagementAg Retailer, Equipment Dealer Improve Service By Working Together
January 27, 2017
Some believe that in many aspects of life, timing is everything. Among those believers, please count Randy Bartholomew, Integrated Solutions Read More
Latest News
Spray Drift
Data ManagementWeather Imposes New Time Restraint On Safely Spraying D…
March 28, 2017
Dicamba drift is causing an uproar and exposing the ag community to a new reality: growers are going to have Read More
Plantium VADER
Ag Tech GlobalCase Study: How Atlas Correction Service is Positioning…
March 27, 2017
Plantium in Santa Fe, Argentina, is a full-service provider of precision agricultural guidance systems to some of Argentina’s largest farming Read More
Becky Huttenga featured image
Tools & Smart EquipmentAgtech Grows In Michigan
March 27, 2017
Michigan is more famous for its car industry, great lake, and big 10 universities than it is for agriculture. But Read More
Davie Stephens combine
Data ManagementData Ownership: A Cautionary Tale
March 25, 2017
Davie Stephens, who lives in Hickman County, KY, farms more than 5,000 acres in Western Kentucky and Northwestern Tennessee. Stephens Read More
Ag Retailer and Grower WinField United
PrecisionAg Institute9 Rules For Success As A Trusted Advisor
March 24, 2017
With support from the partner organizations of the PrecisionAg Institute, Millennium Research conducted a survey of 215 farmers from around Read More
Bruce Rasa corn AgVoice app
Data ManagementVoice-To-Data Tool Shows Promise For Scouting
March 24, 2017
See it, speak it, record it. No pens, no paper, no lost information. In a nutshell that’s what Bruce Rasa Read More
Farmer with iPad
Data ManagementRegaining Control Of Field Data
March 23, 2017
When it comes to creating and building value with farmer-customers, service providers today have new allies to support their efforts. Read More
Y-Drop 360 Yield
Tools & Smart EquipmentSplit Nitrogen Application: Where The 4Rs Get Real
March 23, 2017
When Illinois Grower Jeremy Wilson hit the farm conference circuit these past two years, one of his talks was always Read More
Hort TechSciFi in Ag: Robots Could Take Multi-Hybrid Planting Ne…
March 23, 2017
*Article Notes: This monthly column takes some crazy sounding ideas and applies them to the field of Ag Tech. The Read More
Erich Eller ForeFront Ag Solutions with Ag Eagle-drone
Business ManagementForeFront Ag Solutions: Going Beyond The Averages
March 22, 2017
He’s flying essentially solo these days with business support from his wife Jennifer, but Erich Eller has big dreams for Read More
Ag Tech GlobalFarmobile Continues Connecting the Dots, adds Buyer to …
March 21, 2017
Farmobile announced today that Guy Carpenter, a global risk and reinsurance specialist, will purchase enhanced data sets to help optimize Read More
Valley Irrigation 8000 series corn
Hort TechValley Irrigation Now Exclusive OEM Provider of Trimble…
March 21, 2017
Valley Irrigation and Trimble announced that Valley Irrigation will become the exclusive OEM distributor of Trimble’s Irrigate-IQ precision irrigation solution, according Read More
Farmer Brad Hagen inspects cover crops
Business ManagementTop 5 Features Of A Good Sustainability Program
March 20, 2017
In a recent study, 60% of Iowa farmers agreed that their fertilizer dealers should do more to help them address Read More
Soil sampling Brazil
Ag Tech GlobalAn Overview Of Precision Ag In Brazil
March 17, 2017
Brazil is a huge player in international agriculture and precision farming is helping to increase productivity. With diverse crop production, Read More
Web Soil Survey soils map
Imagery/SensingCan The Web Soil Survey Help To Uncover Answers To Prec…
March 16, 2017
A farming magazine recently published an article of an interview of two experts discussing how understanding the topography of a Read More
Downed Drone
DronesOpinion: The Agricultural Drone War Is Over, And They L…
March 15, 2017
If you are late to the aerial imagery party and think that agricultural drones are the vehicle that are the Read More
Ag Retailer and Growers with tablet WinField United
Data ManagementEliminating Human Error In Precision Ag Data Documentat…
March 15, 2017
As precision ag consultants, we spend a lot of time working with clients to implement best management practices to acquire Read More
Curve Compensation ExactEmerge
ProfessionalsHow To Avoid Yield Loss Using Curve Compensation
March 15, 2017
Planting is often considered the most important step in a farming operation. For this reason, there have been many advancements Read More