The House aviation subcommittee held a hearing yesterday to review GPS as a critical part of transportation infrastructure. Chaired by Rep.
Global Positioning System
The long-awaited marriage of Apple’s iPad and XM WX satellite-delivered weather data is finally here, and the system, offered by Baron Services, the XM WX provider to aviation, works as advertised.
LightSquared’s planned nationwide 4G broadband network got yet another reprieve from Sprint today. Last year, Sprint agreed to provide $15 billion to LightSquared for infrastructure needs, with one condition: LightSquared must obtain FCC approval by Dec. 31, 2011. The FCC didn’t come through–saying LightSquared has yet to prove its transmissions will not interfere with GPS signals–but last month Sprint extended its offer until the end of this month. And with barely 12 hours to spare, Sprint again extended this until mid-March.
“It is the unanimous conclusion of the test findings by the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Executive Committee (ExCom) agencies that both LightSquared’s original and modified plans for its proposed mobile network would cause harmful interference to many GPS receivers,” the committee wrote in a letter sent to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on Friday. The PNT ExCom–composed of nine U.S.
One of the supreme ironies of the ongoing LightSquared saga is that the company’s efforts to promote its nationwide email initiative are not helped when emails about its own activities, written by U.S. government bureaucrats, become public under Freedom of Information legislation.
In a formal submission to the FCC on Wednesday, LightSquared asserted that the GPS community has no legal standing to complain about interference.
Recent tests “did show that LightSquared signals caused harmful interference to the majority of other tested general-purpose GPS receivers,” according to a statement issued yesterday by Anthony Russo, director of the National Coordination Office, on behalf of the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing.
Draft data covering recent DOD and FAA tests of cellphones and other consumer GPS devices revealed that 75 percent “experienced harmful interference” when within 100 meters of a LightSquared base station, according to a report in Bloomberg News on December 9.
The FAA supplemental type certificate for Garmin’s GTN series touchscreen avionics has been validated by EASA, and the GTN 650 and 750 can now be installed in aircraft registered in Europe.
LightSquared reported yesterday that results of testing by an independent laboratory “confirmed that several major high-precision [GPS] receivers…are 100-percent compatible with LightSquared’s network.” LightSquared is seeking government approval to