“The test data discussed today makes clear that there is substantial interference to GPS if LightSquared turns on high-powered terrestrial facilities in the spectrum next door to GPS,” Trimble vice president and general counsel Jim Kirkland said today at an event sponsored by the National Space-Based PNT Advisory Board. Kirkland is also a founding member of the Coalition to Save Our GPS.
Command and control
LightSquared documents submitted to the FCC last week reveal that its transmitters were transmitting at only half power during the tests recently conducted in the Las Vegas area to check for interference with GPS receivers. This means that any interference detected by the GPS units could be as much as half that expected when the LightSquared transmitters operate at their eventual planned power levels.
The confrontation between LightSquared and the U.S. government and industry GPS interests is heating up. LightSquared was able to obtain an FCC waiver of its satellite broadcast license to build a supplemental terrestrial transmitter network for broadband wireless. The GPS community claims that LightSquared’s plan, using a radio frequency close to that of GPS, will create interference. On Friday, Rep.
A senior Pentagon official called for greater cooperation between the U.S. and partner countries in developing a comprehensive C4ISR architecture, during the Asia Pacific Security Conference (APSEC) here in Singapore this week. “We must share information with partners where appropriate, and we need their help to plug the gaps in coverage,” said Bruce Lemkin, Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force for International Affairs.
The October announcement by Raytheon that it had won a Department of Defense contract–potentially worth $25 million–to develop next-generation anti-jamming systems for GPS underlines security specialists’ concern that GPS is now “an attractive target” for terrorists.
OuterLink, a Lowell, Mass. company that specializes in mobile asset tracking, is at Heli-Expo 2008 promoting the latest version of its CommTrack satellite-based software suite and a new product, the CV2R cockpit voice and video recorder. Both are being featured at OuterLink’s booth (No. 2216).
Airborne video surveillance can give first responders and law enforcement a clear idea of what needs to be done on the ground in an emergency. But the challenge is making sure the information reaches the right people–that’s where Microwave Radio Communications’ (Booth No. 1313) experience can make a big difference, according to the Massachusetts company.
The U.S. Air Force last month reiterated its intention to choose a single contractor for a new constellation of global positioning satellites known as GPS III. Teams led by Lockheed Martin and Boeing are competing for the contract to launch eight Block A GPS III satellites by 2013. The Air Force invited bids last month for these first satellites, the foundation for an enhanced system scheduled to start operating in 2018.
With the triple- and sometimes quadruple-redundant electrical systems in the most modern business jets, carrying a backup battery-powered handheld radio or GPS on board might seem as unnecessary as strapping on a parachute or affecting helmet, scarf and goggles. But for turboprop crews or operators of older business jets, the idea of needing such emergency backup might not be as farfetched.
A special military facility dedicated to testing the vulnerability of GPS installations to deliberate jamming is now open to corporate pilots whose operations take them into, over or even near troubled parts of the world where jamming is becoming increasingly common.
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