A panel of experts, selected jointly by the GPS Industry Council and LightSquared Corp., is currently determining whether LightSquared’s proposed NAS-wide network of 40,000 powerful ground stations transmitting voice and Internet traffic could interfere with and potentially jam GPS receivers operating within their own FCC-protected frequency band.
Following a certification and verification process, the European Commission approved the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (Egnos) “safety-of-life” service for aviation last Wednesday. Egnos is closely similar to, and compatible with, the U.S. Waas satellite-based augmentation system that corrects timing errors in GPS signals, making it more accurate.
Over the next three months, a panel of 14 experts will test and analyze whether LightSquared's proposal to transmit Internet data from a nationwide network of 40,000 high-powered ground stations will jam very low powered GPS signals operating in the immediately adjacent GPS frequency band.
Small, inexpensive GPS jammers carried by truckers have caused the occasional shutdown of the Laas test installation at Newark Airport. The devices, powered by simply plugging into the cigarette lighter, are intended to foil interrogations of the truck's remotely installed GPS and its coupled cellphone by the trucking company's dispatcher to check on the vehicleπs location and progress.
Garmin has introduced its GTU-10, a personal GPS-based tracking system that allows owners to instantly check via the Internet the location of children, pets, elderly relatives, travel bags and almost anything else of value.
Garmin reports that LightSquared’s proposed nationwide broadband Internet service could seriously interfere with GPS signals. As a result of this and other filed objections, the FCC is withholding LightSquared’s operational approval until a three-month independent expert analysis agrees that this will not occur.
Phoenix-based Accord Technologies is at Heli-Expo (Booth No. 7839) to acquaint OEMs, avionics developers and modification centers with its NexNav modular GPS receivers.
The company’s small, low-power receivers are available as circuit card assemblies (CCA) for avionics OEM hosting or as LRUs for aircraft installations. They will support ADS-B, all normal GPS procedures and precision approach requirements.
Accord’s NexNav technology is compatible with Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) including WAAS, European EGNOS, Japan’s MTSAT and GAGAN in India.
The U.S. Departments of Defense, Transportation, Commerce and Homeland Security, as well as the civil GPS Industry Council–of which NBAA is a member–have filed objections with the FCC over a new satellite-enabled cellular broadband service from LightSquared.
The Colombian Army has contracted with Indianapolis-based Eagle Creek Aviation Services for Grand Renaissance refurbishment of a Twin Commander 980 and a Twin Commander 1000. Eagle Creek told AIN the project will take about 11 months and more than 14,000 man-hours. Eagle Creek plans to deliver one aircraft in August and the other in the fourth quarter.
Several years ago, when satellites were being touted as aviation’s sole means of navigation from takeoff to touchdown, former FAA Administrator Langhorne Bond painted a picture of a dark winter’s night with below-limits weather up and down the east coast. In that scenario, he stated, terrorist GPS jammers could become “weapons of mass destruction.” The FAA shrugged it off as unfounded speculation.